In my time doing these reviews, I’m lucky enough to have heard metal from all sorts of unlikely nations like Iran and India. As an American who’s unfortunately never left my country’s borders, it’s nice to see what the metal scenes of other nations are like. For instance, I only know of one such band from Ireland, Soothsayer, so I figured it was time to expand my knowledge of Irish metal. First stop happened to be Scáth Na Déithe whose latest offering has plenty of intrigues.
As a whole, there’s honestly nothing new that’s brought to the table when you spin “Pledge Nothing But Flesh”. It happens to be a slab of black metal the likes of which we’ve all most likely heard before, but I’ll be damned if I said that Scáth Na Déithe did the genre a disservice with this album. With its six tracks in total, “Pledge Nothing But Flesh” acts as a real treat for anyone who likes black metal in the form of scathing intensity paired right alongside a brilliant sense of pacing that doesn’t quit for even a heartbeat. Even when the music shifts from an ominous tone to much more violent and unrelenting you can really feel the dynamics without having to think about it, and you can hear the very wheels inside the minds of the two men behind Scáth Na Déithe turning as each song grinds along. And as if “Pledge Nothing But Flesh” needed anything to make it more interesting, four of the six songs are over 10 minutes long! That’s over forty minutes of stellar black metal that, while a tad unrefined and can absolutely be improved upon, manages to deliver unto the very end.
Scáth Na Déithe definitely shows that they have plenty of potential with this record, but it’s the kind that just needs to be tempered like a sword – built upon over time, layer by layer, a slow and steady process, and one that if done correctly can wield a result greater than even the blacksmith could’ve hoped for. “Pledge Nothing But Flesh” is an album that personally wouldn’t come back to on an often basis, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is still a record that should be respected for all the right reasons, and shows that Ireland has plenty of excellent metal to be had even if the scene is still in its infant years.
LISTEN to “Pledge Nothing But Flesh” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Scáth Na Déithe on Facebook here.