Having inked a deal with Los Angeles based Prosthetic Records, HAND OF KALLIACH are preparing to release their sophomore album in early 2024. The Edinburgh-based husband and wife duo have developed a distinctive blend of melodic death metal melded with Scottish folk music, which is showcased beautifully on their upcoming release, Corryvreckan.
The band’s name is borrowed from the legend of the Cailleach, the ancient witch god of winter from Scottish Celtic mythology. The story goes that she lives at the bottom of an enormous whirlpool, Corryvreckan, which lies between some of the western isles of Scotland and lends its name to this album. As the herald of winter, she rises from the depths to wash her plaid (cloak) in the waters of the Corryvreckan. Once washed and restored to a bright white, she casts it across the earth where it lands as snow. This is done at the start of Samhainn (beginning on 31st October, which was the Celtic precursor to Halloween and the name of the band’s debut album). Her reign ends as spring arrives with the festival of Bealltainn in May, and she turns to stone to await the next winter.
The Cailleach is depicted in various, contradictory ways - both as a symbol of death, loss and despair, as well as a source of nurturing and protection. Taking inspiration from all this, the music that HAND OF KALLIACH creates is centred around these dual concepts of benevolence and malevolence, all against the backdrop of the history, mythology and land/seascapes of the Scottish islands.
The threads of Celtic and Gaelic folk music and folklore weave throughout the album, against a backdrop of spectral, melodic death metal. Blending the robust brutality of death metal with the ethereal wisps of folk is an intoxicating brew. Corryvreckan was recorded with Wynter Prior at Sphynx Studios, Brighton, UK. The resulting album is a phantasmagorical journey through ancient tales and truly progressive modern metal, with an unmatched eye for detail that brings every single element of Corryvreckan to life.