Darkest Era are a five-piece Celtic metal band formed in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland in 2005. The group's music is a rich blend of traditional heavy metal, black metal, and Irish folk music with lyrics that take inspiration from the myths and legends of Irish folklore. The group's style is reminiscent of contemporaries like Primordial and Cruachan, though with a greater emphasis on melody in the style of Thin Lizzy and New Wave of British Heavy Metal Bands like Iron Maiden.
Originally called Nemesis, the band released its first demo, also titled Nemesis, in 2006, taking influence from traditional dual-guitar heavy metal acts like the aforementioned Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden. The band formed while still at school, the original lineup consisting of singer Dwayne "Krum" Maguire, guitarists Ade Mulgrew and Sarah Wieghell, bassist David Lindsay, and drummer Lisa Howe. In April of the following year, they dropped the name Nemesis due to the large number of bands with similar names, and instead adopted the name Darkest Era as a nod to the increasingly bleak and introspective nature of their music, which now included elements of doom metal and black metal, as well as incorporating the mournful themes and melancholic melodies that permeate traditional Irish music.
In late 2007, Darkest Era entered the studio with producer Dave Briggs to record their first EP, The Journey Through Damnation, which featured a guest spot from violinist Elyghen of Italian folk metal band Elvenking. The band signed a deal with German label Eyes Like Snow to release the EP worldwide, and the EP's success led to offers to play on the lucrative European festival circuit throughout 2009. In March of 2010, the group self-released a three-track single entitled The Oaks Sessions, named after the Fermanagh studio in which it was recorded with producer John Moffatt. Shortly afterward, the group was contacted by Primordial frontman A.A. Nemtheanga, who was doing A&R for U.S. label Metal Blade, and in August the label announced it had signed a worldwide deal with Darkest Era.
The band immediately entered the studio to record its debut album, The Last Caress of Light, in Foels studio in Wales with producer Chris Fielding. The Last Caress of Light was released in February of 2011. In August of 2012, it was announced that bassist David Lindsay had decided to leave the band. He was replaced for subsequent shows by Steve Reynolds of Belfast band Sorrowfall. ~ Dave Donnelly