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Lacks the usual energy - 65%

morbert, October 11th, 2007

Let’s get to the conclusion at once here: together with “Prince of the Poverty Line” this is one of the least interesting Walkyier-era Skyclad albums. There are several reasons for this.

Mostly this is because of the song material. Most songs sound a bit tired and uninspired. The average pace of the album is too low and session drums by Paul A.T. Kinson (who actually did do some good work on their previous album “Oui Avant-Garde A Chance”) seriously lacks some energy at times. If you compare this to the tempi and overall energy of other Skyclad albums this becomes more obvious.

Opener ‘Building a Ruin’ does have some good ideas and this goes for most other songs as well. There are good ideas here and there but they don’t seem to have fully matured yet and sound tired. Two songs are above average here, being ‘Eirenarch’ and ‘Isle of Jura’.

Eirenach is quite a powerful tune but the foggy guitar sound slightly damages the song. Also the bassguitar is mixed in way too quiet. This is very obvious on the verses.

‘Isle Of Jura’ is a quite beautiful song with good use of guitars and the drums sound pretty good here. Same goes for the vocal lines and the very beautiful chorus. ‘Steel angel please carry me. Fly me to my love. From cold Earth far beneath me to the Heavens high above.’
is the melodic highlight on the album.

There are other Skyclad albums on which I have a few favourite tracks just like here but on ‘The Answer Machine’ all the other songs never grab my attention and are nothing more than nice background Skyclad tunes. Fortunately their next album would prove to be one of their strongest ever!