IT is four years since Limerick prog metallers Shardborne released their debut EP ‘Aeonian Sequence’ which won them many fans in the metal scene. It has been a long wait for more new recordings, but with the backing of Limerick label Out on a Limb, Shardborne’s debut album ‘Living Bridges’ will finally be available this weekend.
This recording is over two years in the writing, recording and mixing and the epic album promises to push Shardborne and all their fans to “another plane of existence”, says the label. And it is time everyone else started to hear one of the country’s finest practitioners of progressive, instrumental metal.
The complete line up of Shardborne was formed when bassist Cormac O’Farrell joined the original lineup of brothers Ciaran and Eoin Culhane on guitars and Ben Wanders on drums. By then the band had forged its own sound, rejecting the structures of verse and chorus and expressing themselves in complex changing time signatures, layering adding influences of jazz and alternative music to create their unique aural experience.
In 2011 Shardborne recorded and released the debut EP ‘Aeonian Sequence’. This record won the quartet positive reviews, an impressive 5/5 from Molten Magazine and Drop-d online magazine praised the E.P, saying that Irish metal has “taken another giant step out of the shadows”.
Tours of the Netherlands and UK and a host of Irish gigs followed, seeing Shardborne develop into a potent live force sharing stages with Russian Circles, And So I Watch You From Afar and Cynic.
‘Living Bridges’ was recorded by the band’s Ben Wanders and Ciaran Culhane in their own studios. Time restrictions did not exist and there was plenty time to refine and build the recordings that eventually went on to be mixed and mastered by US producer Jamie King. He has recorded albums for bands such as Between The Buried And Me, Killwhitneydead and In The Midst Of Lions.
The resulting album mixes the Culhane guitar driven melodies, the complexity of the compositional structures into a huge, exciting sound that is laid over O’Farrell’s bass grooves and the creative technical drum beats of Ben Wanders who was won Zildjian’s best drummer in Ireland award and has been featured in Rhythm magazine.
While Living Bridges is a big and heavy sounding modern progressive metal album it is also very melodic and accessible with influences of Rush and even Pink Floyd in evidence.
UK illustrator Duncan Storr, who has created album sleeve art for Skyclad and Hawkwind among others, created the ‘Living Bridges’ stunning artwork. The album will be released on CD and Digital but to fully appreciate the sleeve design and the depth of the sound on the record, get your hands on the Heavyweight Vinyl Double LP. The length of the recordings dictated that the best sound experience could be gained from spreading the seven tracks on ‘Living Bridges’ over two LPs.
Guitarist Ciaran Culhane promised that those freshly pressed and printed albums will be delivered to Shardborne on time for the show this weekend.
“We are looking forward to having them in our hands and examine them up close,” he said.
Shardborne launch their debut album ‘ ‘Living Bridges’ with support from Hexxed and Vile Regression at Dolan’s this Saturday July 11.