Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2022
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Skyclad > Old Rope > Reviews
Skyclad - Old Rope

Prisoners in a sterile vacuum - 35%

robotiq, May 9th, 2020

This record was a contract filler and the clue is in the title, 'money for old rope'. Skyclad switched labels in 1997, moving from Noise to Massacre. Presumably they owed their old label a record and this was the result. Maybe Noise decided they were going to release something like this regardless (as Skyclad had already released "Irrational Anthems" for Massacre by this point). Either way, no thought has gone into "Old Rope". There weren't many reasons to buy this back in 1997 and there are none now.

A band like Skyclad should suit a 'best of' compilation. They were probably better known for landmark songs than classic albums. The song selection is OK. There are lots of Skyclad classics ("The Widdershins Jig", "Cradle Will Fall", "Cardboard City", "Thinking Allowed?", "Earth Mother, the Sun and the Furious Host", etc), which outweigh the questionable choices ("The Present Imperfect"). I like the inclusion of "Alone in Death's Shadow", one of the band's unheralded early songs and their archetypal album closer. The fact that this moody, downtempo song appears at track #4 shows how stupid the running order is, making no chronological sense and having no musical flow. Worse still, some of Skyclad's best songs ("Spinning Jenny", "The Declaration of Indifference", "Skyclad") are represented with live versions from "Tracks from the Wilderness", spliced randomly into the track-listing.

"Brothers Beneath the Skin" is a worthy inclusion (previously only available on the 2CD version of "Prince of the Poverty Line"). It is a good song but didn't fit the thematic unity of "Prince of the Poverty Line". I'm baffled by the inclusion of the live songs from "Tracks from the Wilderness". Not only are they inferior to the studio versions, but this EP was easier to buy than their first two albums (which had some rarity value). If the person compiling "Old Rope" had given a shit, and had the necessary permissions, they could have included more interesting and valuable material. There was a four-song session recording for BBC Radio 1, their definitive folk-metal statement in my eyes (18th September 1992, if you're hunting). There was also the cover of Venom's "Prime Evil" (crap but rare), and a weird Martin Walkyier song called "We Sisters Three" (interesting and rare). Alas, there are no such nuggets here. At least the album cover looks nice.

Thankfully, landfill like this is redundant in an era of near infinite music. We can all make our own compilations and playlists of cult bands, adding a personal touch. That is what someone should have done back in 1997, instead of releasing random shit like "Old Rope". My suggestion is to make your own Skyclad compilation, use some of the recommendations listed above (to keep it interesting). Whatever you do, it will be much more satisfying than this.