|Cruachan rose from the demise of "Minas Tirith" who had been in existence since 1989. Cruachan was formed in 1992 by Keith Fay after "Minas Tirith" broke up. John Fay and John Clohessy were recruited along with other members who have since departed (Jay Brennan, Leon Bias, Aisling Hanrahan, Joanne Hennessy, Steven Anderson, Jay O' Neill, Steven Coleman, Declan Cassidy and Paul Kearns among others). With a love of Celtic music, history and mythology, they sought to incorporate this into their music and lyrics, on a scale that had never been done before. With a complete line-up playing a variety of traditional and conventional instruments and a lot of original songs under their belt, they decided to record a demo and unleash their unique style of music to the world. The demo was released in late 93'. It was highly praised worldwide and caught the attention of a variety of labels….. one being "Nazguls Eyrie Productions" from Germany. Cruachan signed to this label in early 94', the main reason being the freedom that the label gave which suited the free souls of the band. They recorded their debut album "Tuatha na Gael" in early 95'and it was released on the Celtic feast of Beltaine. Black metal interlaced with Celtic tunes….. people fell in love with this ancient sound. The only bad point about the album is the poor production due to lack of recording time. Regardless, it was a learning experience and the band built up a large following worldwide. The album became by far the number one seller for the label despite selling out quickly in the few shops it was available in, not being replaced and not being promoted. As a result a lot of people who read the excellent reviews could not get their hands on it.
Cruachan went into studio again in early 97' and recorded a four-song promo with a new female folk singer (Aisling). The new material was a lot more heavy metal orientated. The promo was for record labels only..
Cruachan played live often in the period 95' to 97' and as with their music, their live shows are unique also, with a true Celtic taste - dressed in historically accurate Celtic dress with war-banners etc. (when the venue allows!!) The reaction to live shows has been excellent.
"Century Media Records" from Germany showed a lot of interest in 97' and arrangements were made for a signing. We left "N.E.P." and negotiated with Century media. Cruachan eventually pulled out of the deal, they felt that Century media offered no freedom and the label had too much control over the writing of material. Century media would not alter the contract in any way so Cruachan bid them farewell. Cruachan continued writing and playing, not only to rock /heavy metal audiences but in Celtic festivals and with internationally renowned acts to a variety of people, but alas, in mid 97' Cruachan called it a day for various personal reasons. All members continued to play music but on a smaller scale than before. But, as the phoenix rises from death….so too does Cruachan. In Jan. 99' Keith and John Fay decided to reform as fans kept writing asking about the possibility of a second album. "Hammerheart records" from Holland were keen to sign us, in Oct. 99' the deal was sorted and Cruachan began recording their second album entitled "The Middle Kingdom" in Nov. 99' this was released in June 2000.
Cruachan combine modern rock /metal with traditional Irish music, but there is a lot more to them than just that: elaborate classical pieces, ancient medieval tunes etc. They also use real instruments rather than relying solely on a keyboard or sampler. The use of these instruments also adds an element of curiosity in live shows due to each member's ability to play a variety of instruments. Some of the traditional instruments they use are: Tin whistle, Irish Flute, Bódhran (an ancient hand-held goatskin drum), Uilleann pipes (or elbow pipes, like the traditional bag pipes, but instead of blowing, a bellows is used to pump air into the bag), Harp, Bouzouki (originally a Greek guitar, it has been adopted into Irish and Scottish music) Cruachan's original metal style could have been classed as Black metal, but the band have now opted for a more conventional heavy metal sound, although the black influences are still evident and the whole ethos is still there. Cruachan consider themselves as modern day bards or storytellers. They tell the old Celtic myths and legends of their proud past, or the tales of hardship and rebellion that Ireland endured, through the medium of music.. To put it all simply…..Cruachan are storytellers…no more, no less.