Demo:listen: Naddred

Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, black, doom, sludge, grind, thrash, heavy, speed, progressive, stoner, retro, post-, etc. we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen, we introduce the unsuspecting underground to the abominable prowess of Ireland’s Naddred.

Upon first listen, Naddred sound like they could’ve come from anywhere—or, perhaps more accurately: nowhere. The Irish quintet’s darkly twisted songs almost seem like old traditionals secreted away and passed down from some antediluvian civilization, composed beneath extinct constellations and never meant to fall upon ears such as yours or mine. After failing again and again during multiple listens to figure out how I was hearing what I was hearing, I finally broke down and asked the band.

Balor, the vocalist of Naddred, explains it thus: “[Naddred] started over a year ago when Deegan was writing songs that sounded different from his other band Slidhr . . . What gives the death metal feel is the fact that the guys are down-tuned. We had talked about tuning up to get a more black metal sound, but we all liked how it was sounding, and it worked well with my vocals. From that the sound we have was created.”

That explains some of the mystery, I suppose. But there yet lingers something . . . something obscure but still deeply disconcerting, something about the riffs, and how they wrap and constrict your attention like visceral bondage. How the vocals seem to emanate from your subconscious out. As if given lung by some deep-seated and hitherto undiscovered shadow archetype.  

Says Balor: “Myself, Deegan, and Praetorian (bass) have known each other years from going to metal gigs, and through bands we have all performed with. [Deegan] was looking for people to start a new band with and had found Giller, a drummer who was looking to start a band also. Deegan was also in contact with Praetorian who was keen to start something different from his band Eternal Helcaraxe . . . I was also talking to Praetorian about starting a band. I know Deegan 20 years now and have done vocals with him in 2 other demo bands over the years and always loved working with him, so we all just came together from that . . .”

Who can listen to “The Beast Walks the Earth” and not suspect Naddred’s formation was a bit more complicated than that? Likely Naddred’s coming together involved a clandestine (though conspicuous) gathering of shrouded figures chanting their accursed supplications to a power inimitable and long exiled from creation.

“We spent time thinking of a name that we all thought worked with the band and the image of the band,” says Balor. “We wanted something Celtic or Pagan, but not a name that would make us sound like another Celtic or Pagan band, as our music is far from that. Naddred served that perfectly.”

Naddred is the Gaelic word for serpent. When listening to Naddred who can help but envision a night sky slowly moving past, the overwhelming hide of that cosmic serpent, scintillating as the fires of earth are reflected upon its innumerable scales? Indeed, Naddred is the perfect name for the entity to bear this beast of a demo. Not often one confronts a recording that sounds actually hungry for your time, for your soul, for more listeners. But that is what Naddred have brought upon us.

We now present you with the exclusive premiere of Naddred’s four song debut Sluagh. Get your copy from Invictus Productions on February 13th, 2017.

You heard it here first on Demo:listen. Check this space next and every Friday for promising new metal.