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Today is St. Patrick’s Day when people around the globe celebrate all things Irish. Now some people think that means puffy leprechaun hats and green beer, much to the dismay of actual native-born Irishmen, but what they should be celebrating is all the great music that has emanated over the year’s from the Emerald Isle, especially it’s high-grade hard rock and heavy metal. As if the mythical tale of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland in the early Middle Ages weren’t metal enough, Éire’s legacy of heavy riffing stretches back to the late ’60s when Rory Gallagher‘s Taste and Irish Rock standard bearers Thin Lizzy first formed. During the punk era, Stiff Little Fingers and The Undertones scorched eardrums, railing against the era’s sectarian “Troubles,” and were a major inspiration to U2, who would go to become one of the world’s biggest rock bands (though none of them being metal, none are included in this article’s gallery). The ’90s saw post-thrash bands updating modern extreme metal sounds with influences from traditional Celtic folk music creating the “Celtic Metal” movement, including such bands as Cruachan, Waylander and the less overtly-folk Primordial. And while we’re not ones to encourage excess drinking, especially not if you’re under age, everyone knows how well loud music and a pint or two of beer go together, so pour yourself a Guiness and do as the great Phil Lynott suggested and get a little Irish in ya’.