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Not folk-metal yet but folk-thrash - 95%

morbert, October 10th, 2007

I consider myself a Walkyier-era Skyclad fan from day one. I’ve had the hots for folk as well as metal all my life. Skyclad were one of the first to really combine these styles and must be considered groundbreaking when the released their first album in 1991.

As a fan I must however admit that Skyclad didn’t often release an album that was marvellous from start to finish. I’ve always had the feeling they took too little time between albums which resulted in every album having some fillers. There are however two albums in their large discography that are almost perfect from start to finish. I am talking about ‘Vintage Whine’ and this album, their 1991 debut ‘The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth’.

A lot of the songs here do in fact have more to do with the thrash metal we were used to from the Sabbat and Pariah days than the ‘regular’ metal which would emerge on later album. This thrash combined with folk results in a masterpiece which is both melodic as well as very heavy and has some fast moments as well from time to time.

Opener ‘Sky Beneath My Feet’ has a superb melodic opening and sets the mood in almost a perfect way for the album before plunging into a high quality pounding thrasher with Walkyiers characteristic vocals and lengthy lyrics. ‘Trance Dance’ continues this folky thrash metal approach.

The first song that really shows the folkmetal mixture we would get used to from future albums is ‘The Widdershins Jig’ which is danceable, heavy and catchy. Truly a classic Skyclad composition. But before I go on talking about all the songs here I will now restrain myself and mention but a few.

‘Moongleam and Meadowsweet’ is a powerballad with a beautiful acoustic intro and one of the best melodic vocal performances in Walkyiers entrire career. Closing song ‘Terminus’ is a thrasher with again a beautiful opening before going into a real laid back but eerie section on which Walkyier sings over ‘terminus’ chanting back vocals. From that point on continuing as an extremely powerful slow paced pounder. One of my favourite tracks on the album by far.

Best songs: ‘Sky Beneath My Feet, ‘The Widdershins Jig’, ‘Moongleam & Meadowsweet’ and ‘Terminus’.