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Skyclad - A Burnt Offering for the Bone Idol

1992 Noise Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-09-08

I think that the only other Skyclad review up at Remnants (check the legacy page!) is for Folkemon, a semi-decent folk-metal album that tends to be a bit ren fair for my tastes. I heard Skyclad late in the game, and although I was a Sabbat fan, always felt that the 'Clad were a touch too poofy for me. And then I finally heard the early stuff...

After a brief political intro we're immediately introduced to the thrash based madness here. Much mention is always made of the violin/fiddle here, and yeah, it's off the beaten track, but the whole vibe here is so thrash based that it doesn't detract but only serve to spice things up. It works especially well on tracks like Karmageddon where the guitar/string doubling fills out the sound in differing frequencies.

And as I said, this is first and foremost a thrash album, building on the pedigree's of former bands (Sabbat/Blind Fury) with excellent musicianship on all fronts along with high creativity. Martin Walkyier is known for his machine gun delivery of tongue twisting metaphors and here he has more bite than on later releases. But the riffs, the riffs! Tight, staccato riffs that hook you in with excellent bass playing and lots of tom work. Everybody gets a chance to stretch out here, and the dynamic of the song structures allows Skyclad to move around while still staying heavy. There are a couple of lighter intros/interludes but they are brief and then you are back to the crunch.

A highly intelligent band that mellowed with time (not a bad thing), these first few albums meld the thrash roots with the more experimental folk based elements. Some of the band's most famous material is here, and while Prince of the Poverty Line may be their fan high water mark, I actually prefer this album for it's thrashier bite.