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Skyclad had released albums that were more metal than folk (“The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth”, “The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea”) and also an album that was more folk than metal (“Oui Avant-Garde A Chance”). The perfect balance between these styles can be found on this album, their 9th full length album, the 1999 masterpiece “Vintage Whine”.
Not only a masterpieces because it is a perfect blending of the styles, but also because the compositions are of extraordinary individual quality and the fact that it came right after their most disappointing album (“The Answer Machine”)
After a sweet brass medievalish intro the band plunges into folk metal with the catchy title track that musically refers to earlier classics such as ‘The Widdershins Jig’, ‘Spinning Jenny’ and ‘Penny Dreadful’. Next up is an immediate classic, the very fast song ‘On With Their Heads’ which had some punk and thrash metal thrown in, great anti-megalomaniac lyrics and a strong chorus.
After a sweet violin intro ‘The Silver Cloud's Dark Lining’ continues as an upbeat happy folk metal tune with a pounding verse and catchy chorus. Another personal favourite is ‘Bury Me’ which has strong lyrics, great drum rhythms and once again a very strong folky chorus. Last but not least I’d like to mention ‘Little Miss Take’ which is a quality upbeat catchy song the vein of the earlier mentioned ‘Vintage whine’ and ‘The Silver Cloud's Dark Lining’.
Before I forget, I’ve never been too fond of ‘No Strings Attached’ which is the only song I tend to skip from time to time. Apart from that, marvellous album and personal top 3 Skyclad favourite.