Husband and wife melodic death metal and Scottish folk music duo, HAND OF KALLIACH has today announced their signing to Prosthetic Records. Accompanying the signing announcement the Edinburgh based pair will be releasing their sophomore album, Corryvreckan, on February 23. The lead single and accompanying music video, Fell Reigns, is premiering now via Decibel.
Speaking on the album announcement, HAND OF KALLIACH's John (vocals, guitars, drums) comments: "We are massively excited to be releasing our sophomore album Corryvreckan on Prosthetic - we’re both long-time fans of the label and are thrilled to join such a phenomenal roster.
"As with our debut Samhainn, this record thematically borrows from the legend of the Cailleach, the ancient witch god of winter from Scottish Celtic mythology. Ambiguously represented as both a vengeful hag and a youthful woman, a bitter destroyer and nurturing paragon of nature, the duality of the Cailleach is a large inspiration for our hybrid sound of melodeath and ethereal folk."
Of the single and music video, Sophie (vocals and bass) adds: “Building upon the legend of the Cailleach, the ancient witch god of winter from Scottish Celtic mythology, with Fell Reigns, we wanted to explore her seasonal rise to power at Samhainn (the end of summer and beginning of winter) from a different perspective - that of one of her unnamed eight attendants, that assist her in ushering in winter.
"Ambiguously represented as both a vengeful hag and a youthful woman, a bitter destroyer and nurturing paragon of nature, the duality of the Cailleach is a large inspiration for our hybrid sound of melodeath and ethereal folk, and we really loved being able to represent those contrasts in both this track and the broader album, Corryvreckan.”
HAND OF KALLIACH'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.