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Catchy - 80%

Egregius, December 14th, 2003

One of Skyclad's earlier albums.

It's quite comparable to Vintage Whine in terms of quality (VW being the only other album by Skyclad I own); great hooks, solid songs. Folky metal unlike other folkmetal bands that came later. Skyclad has the folky elements akin to folk-songs from the middle ages with catchy melodies, or rather, song-hooks.

The song-hooks are most apparent on the first four songs. The later songs drive more on simple solidness. Of note are the fantastic guitar-riffs. Together with the interesting (folky) vocallines they make for passionate music.

The lyrics are, like on Vintage Whine, intelligent, and socio-critical. On this album it's a bit preachy though. Martin Walkyier comes across very 'complainitive', however, in the end I'm prone to simple agreement to what he has to say.

The vocals on this album can basically be described as gruff clean vocals. No plum for soprano of the year here, although Martin receives my compliments for his use of intonation and such.

Comparing this to Vintage Whine (the only other Skyclad I know), Martin Walkyier as vocalist and lyricist isn't as full-grown as on Vintage Whine, but already on a moderate to high level. The music itself however, is already on a high level, although VW is more consistently high level than Jonah's Ark, and just slightly better overall.

It shouldn't be necessary, but I'll reiterate that Skyclad is an awesome band. Consistently high-quality, and to many an undiscovered gem.