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Charming - 80%

Rainbow, June 1st, 2004

I'd always heard of this band, but never got to hear them. I knew they were folk metal and that lyrical madman Martin Walkyier from Sabbat was at the band's front. Now I like Sabbat a lot, but I was too sure about the whole folk thing. Luckily at a used cd store, some chump had returned his entire Skyclad collection. Remember hearing about "Spinning Jenny" I decided to pick this album out of the bunch.

Whoa. Good call.

This is unlike all the metal I usually listen to. It has traditional and thrash elements, with the usual themes, but the atmosphere and folk stuff makes it so much more fun. You can't help but listen to it and have a smile on your face. Granted, the overtly happy tones of the music may not mesh with Walkyier's darker ramblings, but something here just works. The lyrics are amazing for one. That main riff in "Spinning Jenny" is indeed the catchiest damn thing. The stone cold emotion in "Ring Stone Round" embodies the folk moodiness that Ritchie Blackmore and his blonde bimbo could only dream of.

"Karmageddon", "R'Vannith", all continue in this tradition, and though songs say they are long, they flow quickly through the ears. Everything here is just EXACTLY how folk and metal should be combined. I am now a Skyclad fan for sure, and will be returning to pick more of their cds.

All metal fans should hear this. Innovation in the scene is something few and far between these days. Umm, yeah. "these days". This cd came out 12 years ago....BAH...GO GET IT!