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The Best Folk Metal Album Ever! - 85%

Warpig, August 14th, 2007

Well, at least parts of it…

This could have been a (near) perfect album, if Skyclad had concentrated on the good songs, i.e. if they had left off the fillers and had released an EP or a pretty short album instead.

Fact is, that the good songs on here represent the best that has ever been released under the Folk Metal banner, especially the choruses of the respective songs are brilliant, the best example being “Halo Of Flies”.

The highlights of this album include “Still Spinning Shrapnel”, the probably fastest Skyclad song “Desperanto”, “The Present Imperfect”, “Another Fine Mess” and the already mentioned “Halo Of Flies”. Although these five songs are standout tracks, “Just What Nobody Wanted” and “Art Nazi” manage to shine even more, which makes them probably two of the best Metal songs ever recorded. Apart from the music, though these songs also show that Martin Walkyier is one of the best lyricists out there. When in top form like here, I think it would be even appropriate to call him the Bob Dylan of Heavy Metal.

Sadly, this album also contains a few fillers that diminish the score quite substantially: “Jeopardy” basically is pure and utter shit. From start to finish, everything they did in this song was terrible - the child(ren) at the beginning, the “left, right” part, well, the complete song. “Brimstone Ballet” has a great opening riff, and especially the break is interesting (every time I hear that break though, I have to think of Mike Oldfield’s “To France”…), but sadly the rest is pretty forgettable, just like (the at least very short) “Turncoat Rebellion”. Last but not least “A Stranger In The Garden” is actually a really good song and therefore I will never understand why they tried to ruin it by including this long, useless interlude.

Skyclad is one of the best Folk Metal bands of all time and their discography is pretty impressive, but if you’re looking for the best songs this band has ever written, this album contains most of them. Yes, the good songs on here are better than nearly everything on their best ofs! Apart from the fillers, “The Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea” may be the best Folk Metal album ever, because the highlights on here are perfect examples of excellent song writing completed by Martin Walkyier’s raspy voice and fantastic lyrics.