What we have for you today is a beautiful lyric video for a fascinating and intensely gripping song by an equally fascinating and gripping Scottish band. That band, the husband-and-wife duo of Sophie and John Fraser, chose for themselves the name Hand of Kalliach. We’re told that the name comes from the legend of the ‘Cailleach’, “a Scottish witch god of winter – and in mythology one tale holds that she sleeps at the bottom of an enormous whirlpool in Corryvreckan, off the western isles of Scotland where John’s family is from, arising to usher in winter”.
As you might have already guessed, Hand of Kalliach draw upon from the folklore, history, landscapes, and seascapes of the Scottish islands, and they characterize their music as “Atmospheric Celtic Metal”. But instead of using traditional instruments they draw inspiration from the rhythms, time signatures and patterns used in folk music and adapt them for distorted guitars and other familiar metal instrumentation.
The particular song we’re presenting today is the third track on the band’s forthcoming debut album, Samhainn, named after the ancient Celtic festival of winter (and pronounced ‘Sah-win’). The title of the song is “Each Uisge” (roughly pronounced eyach oosh-keh) and it translates to ‘water horse’. Therein lies the tale of the track….