Ireland’s God Alone. haven’t even finished high school yet but they’re making waves as purveyors of dark yet cathartic, largely instrumental music laced with metal overtones, which they describe as “Ministry of sound: post-metal edition.”
The Cork quintet of Jake O’Driscoll (guitar and occasional vocals), Jack O’Hanlon (drums), Cian Ó Maoláin (bass, even less occasional vocals and electronics), Seán Thompson (guitar) and Dylan Kelly (synthesiser and electronics) – of whom all bar Jack were students of the Cork School of Music – formed at the end of 2016 with the intention “to make sad tunes.”
Having previously been primarily influenced by Cork post-black metal band Altar of Plagues, the band’s sound has progressed as their influences become more varied and erratic. And they tell us their music is inspired by their shared surroundings in Cork: “Most of the band live in the Northside of Cork City, which is widely considered a disadvantaged area. The sounds, sights and people of our home massively influence us. From an outside point of view, the Northside is dark and dangerous but, in reality, it is rich in community and culture and has a massive influence on our music.
“Our lyrics also deal with themes of mental health and loneliness. There is a growing problem at the moment with mental health not only in adults but also in young people and this issue needs to be addressed head-on.”
Perhaps the most impressive example of the God Alone. sound in action is Intivim, the ten-minute-long opener to this year’s debut EP of the same name. It begins slowly with gradually building guitars and drums dropping into an almighty smash of diving heavy bass and high-pitched guitars. That drops into light guitars answered by stabs of bass then really cool high-pitched guitars over a heavy bassline and drums.
Everything suddenly drops out bar a repeating guitar note then big noise under trippy vocals and dropping into another section of light guitars, this time more prolonged. A piercing guitar solo comes in over a chunky bass and guitar chords – and we’re still only half-way through. Then a cool low then high bass riff comes in under a prolonged guitar solo then more tremolo guitars as the track crescendos into something truly awesome before winding down into an atmospheric. Check out the epic track that opens an impressive three-track EP in the stream below.
While most recent single Dagda starts with repeating stabby guitars that continue under big growling vocals then more relaxed darting guitar comes in alongside a big bassline as the screams continue. The pace picks up then drops out suddenly, before launching forwards with the stabby guitars answered by intense wild guitar noises and screams. It soon drops down into a mellow section of light guitars and drums. Check it out in the video below:
This comes ahead of God Alone.’s debut full-length record, which we’re expecting to go live in mid-December. On what to expect, the band tell us: “It’s an album loosely based on stories and events from Our Lady’s Hospital, which was an asylum run in Cork until the mid 20th Century and is now abandoned. Sonically it’s a lot more focused than our EP, more concise, rhythmic and cathartic.”
God Alone. are only the third Ireland-based metal band we’ve chatted to, but they believe the country’s metal scene is rich with talent. As they say: “The Irish metal scene is booming at the moment, especially the Cork metal scene. There is an absolute rake of incredible bands and too many to name but our favourites from around Ireland would have to be Partholón, Coroza, Horse, Ilenkus, Jenova, Shardborne, Towers, No Spill Blood and of course Bailer and Worn Out. Irish metal is some of the best in the world and Irish bands are having some of the most interesting input into the genre right now.”
The band have just played their first gig outside Ireland – at Mammothfest in Brighton – and you can see them supporting the mighty Bailer and Worn Out on 21 December, which should be an awesome show. More info on that here.
God Alone. have plenty more music coming our way soon – when they’ve finished their secondary school exams, that is. Based on what we’ve heard so far this is a young band that’s going places, and we’re really excited to hear what’s coming on the debut album.