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Very high quality album - 95%

FuzzyLogic, July 5th, 2005

Well, we all know that Claddies are one of the best metal bands ever existed. All of their albums are extremely listenable, although there are some better and some worse among them... "The Answer Machine?" is, in my opinion, their best. The most interesting thing about this album is that it is NOT metal at all. It is definitely a folk-rock album, but who cares?..

Anyway, it is an extremely good record, featuring a number of excellent songs and a number of simply good ones. It begins with A Clown of Thorns - beautiful acoustic folkish melody. The next two tracks, Building A Ruin and Worn Up Sole To Heel, are much more faster and heavier while still featuring the same melancholy mood. Single Phial and Helium are not so good as previous three, but they are good enough to fascinate listeners. The highest point of the album is The Thread of Evermore - terrific song influenced by East melodies and rhythms. Troublesometimes, with its quirky melody and catchy rhythm, resembles A Stranger In The Garden from "The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea". Isle Of Jura is also great, especially its chorus ("O' steel angel please carry me - fly me to my love" etc.) And, of course, we must not forget about My Naked I. This song sounds like it is written by Alice Cooper in his "Welcome To My Nightmare" period when he was at his very best. Catherine At The Wheel is very notable due to its misanthropic feel and poppy, untrivial rhythmical pattern. Unfortunately, the rest of the album (Eirenarch, Fainting By Numbers and Dead Angels On Ice) is not worthwhile. That's why I gave to "The Answer Machine?" only 95 %.

If you like Skyclad or just wanna listen to good and not uninteresting folk-rock, "The Answer Machine?" is a very good choice.