HAND OF KALLIACH: Corryvreckan Full-Length Out Today On Prosthetic Records; New video for “Cirein-Cròin” Now Playing

Photo by Matthieu Gill

Melodic death metal and Scottish folk music duo HAND OF KALLIACH has today released their sophomore album, Corryvreckan, via Prosthetic Records. The husband-and-wife duo has also shared a lyric video for the track “Cirein-Cròin,” which tells the tale of a mythological sea monster, with portions of the lyrics taking inspiration from Gaelic poetry.

Speaking on the album release, HAND OF KALLIACH‘s John (vocals, guitars, drums) comments, “We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to unleash the full torrent of melodeath and ethereal folk that is Corryvreckan. Named after the enormous whirlpool between some of the western Scottish isles, the album is focused on the reign of the Cailleach, the Scottish Celtic witch god of Winter, and the foul designs of her churning Corryvreckan cauldron.”

Vocalist and bassist, Sophie adds, “We’ve poured even more mythology into this album, and have pushed even further on the contrasting sonic extremities of our previous album, Samhainn. We hope you join us in the midst of the Cailleach’s harsh and haunting Winter and find the Hag God’s salvation submerged in the dark depths of the legendary Corryvreckan.”

Of “Cirein-Cròin,” John continues: “‘Cirein-Cròin’ is named after a gargantuan, shapeshifting sea monster from Scottish mythology. It was so large it was said to eat seven whales a day, in fact the chorus that Sophie sings is a Gaelic child’s poem we added a melody to, that translates to:

Seven herrings a salmon’s meal,
Seven salmon a seal’s meal,
Seven seals a whale’s meal,
Seven whales a Cirein-Cròin’s meal.”

Sophie adds, “There’s no consensus on what it looked like, so in our lyrics — and you might have noticed it on the album artwork — we opted for a colossal, scaled serpent. While it’s true size was impossibly massive, it disguised itself as a small silver herring to lure prey, including fishermen, before unfurling and expanding to its true size. The lyrics are focused on the transformation from innocuous fish into the resulting Lovecraftian nightmare, from the perspective of an unfortunate observer…”

Watch HAND OF KALLIACH’s video for “Cirein-Cròin” HERE.  

Watch HAND OF KALLIACH’s previously released video for “Fell Reigns” HERE.


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 the 31st of 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 centered 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 in 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.