While on the hunt for all the songs I found (or failed to find) on YouTube (I'm now searching alternate sources, because I want to know), I found an intriguing forum question on the Metal Archives board.
Here's some lovely new finds from there:
Eluveitie is variously described as "folk metal" and "Celtic pagan metal". They're what's becoming an expected metal off-branch--sweet female voices, overdriven guitar, solid drumming, and traditional instruments filling in the bare spots--creating a hard, powerful wall of rippling chrome for your ears, that still possesses light lyrical moments.
Inis Mona (harsher than the others, but just as good for metal fans)
Slania (from their latest album of the same name)
They also have a MySpace page.
Taisgeal Clachan also have a MySpace page, which says they're currently on hiatus. Damn. But they still have songs up on that page you can listen to--they seem heavily inclined to moody instrumentals, blended traditional/wired instruments.
Omnia is again one of those quirky groups: they're Dutch, but they're drawn to Celtic music. Well, the Celts did go everywhere...This is from their web page:
"Playing self-composed 3rd-millennium Folk and world-music with a sprinkling of traditional melodies and dance tunes from places like Brittany, Ireland, Scotland and Afghanistan, OMNIA's music is 100% acoustic - no synthesizers, no electric instruments, no programming, just pure honest music."
Neat. Some examples:
Morrigan (performed live)
Stille Volk comes from France, and is also drawn to Celtic music. They seem more traditional in their approach, but do have power instruments, and tendencies towards hard rock and metal that surface occasionally:
Invocation a Pan
Maudat, from the album of the same name
Espris des bois
Ode aux lointains souverains
They have a MySpace page, too.
Corona Borealis is unique in their commitment only to use acoustic instruments. Of course, they also have only one album, that I've been able to verify. Here's to the release of their second.
Loss of an Exception (harder, and live)
They also have a MySpace page.
The Elders are fully a decade old as a band, and came out of Kansas City to Celtify (it's a word!...sort of) American roots music. And they've done a damned good job:
Men of Erin (live in Dublin)
1849 (live in Illinois)
Lucky One Time (live in Wilmington)
They have a MySpace page.
Planxty is a given, and if you've never heard Planxty, then have you heard Silly Wizard, Silly Sisters, Steeleye Span and/or Fairport Convention?
(For that matter, if your answer to any of the above bands is "No, never heard"--then get thee hence to the feet of Jethro Tull, and begin learning!)
If it helps at all, that scattershot mention-all-at-once had a purpose--all of these bands were foundational to the evolving of Celtic music, as all these bands are variously interpreting it. Fairport Convention led the way, either concurrently or just before Jethro Tull; Jethro Tull went biggest, but Fairport, Silly Wizard, and Steeleye were huge amongst afficionados. Silly Sisters was comprised mainly of women who'd sung with Steeleye and Fairport, and Planxty is the thread that runs through them all.
The one thing that all of these, barring Silly Sisters, were known for was developing the unique fusion of modern instruments playing traditional songs--be they traditional Irish, French, or English ballads, it was still a shock in the late sixties clear through to the late seventies for such a melding to sound anything but unnatural for devotees. Conversely, non-fans of Celtic or folk music found themselves drawn in because of the modern sounds they were able to recognize, and learned to love traditional folk music along the way.
It really was the best of both worlds, in a sense. And it's continued, in one form or another, until now.
Which brings us to Cruachan:
Over a decade of moving from a closely traditional sound towards the evolving 'folk metal' category; they still plan on retaining touches of the traditional, but have always infused it with electronic riffs and heavy modern drum beats. As we've seen with many, many other bands, this is no bad thing.
The Death of a Gael
The Children of Lir
Lothlorien is a little harder to find information on. Based out of New Zealand, they have all of one album out, Greenwood Sides. But their sound is plaintively traditional, and I have no fear they'll keep recording.
Turning in another direction entirely, the site also brought up Flogging Molly, the bastard boys of Los Angeles. I'd also toss in the Dropkick Murphys out of Boston, and the godfather of them all, the gentlemen behind the Pogues. If there are three bands that define Celtic punk, these men are it (though you can have fun with Blood or Whiskey as well)
A little taste of Celtic punk:
Workers' Song, Dropkick Murphys (live)
I'm Shipping Up to Boston, Dropkick Murphys
The Dirty Glass, Dropkick Murphys (live w/Stephanie Daugherty)
If I Should Fall From Grace with God, the Pogues
Fairytale of New York, the Pogues (live w/Kirsty Macoll)
Dirty Old Town, the Pogues
Drunken Lullabies, Flogging Molly
What's Left of the Flag, Flogging Molly (live)
If I Ever Leave This World Alive, Flogging Molly
Swagger, Flogging Molly
And just for fun:
They Say No, Blood or Whiskey
And we're going to start winding things up with Lúnasa, which brings us back to the heart of traditional Celtic music, in lovely, simple ways.
Lunasa, for the whole of their decade-plus in the industry, has made their claim to fame by stripping old standards and original work alike down to the bare bones: what drives the beat? What is the heart of melody? What is the simplest crossing harmony? And they determinedly hold to that, keeping things close, clear, and clean.
Inion Ni Scannlain
The Last Pint (live)
And thank all of you who read through this for putting up with a music post that had no SL references, nor steampunk ones. I promise, I'm working my way back.
(Also mentioned on that metal forum were the Chieftains, in a very odd reference indeed:
"This may sound strange, but The Chieftains have made some wonderful traditional celtic music as well."
Um. Yes, that would be...because they're a Celtic band.)
Finally, always remember: Rick Astley will have his revenge. Hee.