Skyclad - Forward Into The Past

Skyclad - Forward Into The Past

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(CD, Listenable Records, 2017)

SKYCLAD is a very special band for me, since I was lucky enough to have been following them since day one. The use of violin and the caustic lyrics - that taught me a lot - were more than enough to get me hooked. Even though seeing Martin Walkyier leaving the band felt like a knife straight to my heart, I kept following the British band and I am happy to say I have not been disappointed. So, after almost eight years of studio silence, “Forward Into The Past” hit the stores and I could not be more excited...

...due to the presence of Graeme English and Steve Ramsey who have already proven that the Metal flame inside their heart is still going strong through their recent doings with SATAN. I am not saying that the rest of the lineup does not count, but I got to see only those gents onstage and witnessed how passionate they (still) are. Anyway, all this does not matter once the needle has touched the wax, since a spinning vinyl never lies. Yeah, “A Storyteller’s Moon” lifts the curtain with a nice groove, painted with mostly grey colors in the way SKYCLAD have been always doing when creating their music. No one can be out-of-this-world-happy seeing all the social turmoil and the injustice (in every level) brought by the politicians who claim to have our good in their mind (yeah, right). By the way, the lyrics “Welcome back my friends, yes, it’s been too long I fear” are most fitting in this instance considering the eight years of waiting for a new SKYCLAD LP. “Stage Of The Union” kicks in and I think it is the heaviest track for the Kevin Ridley-singing era and it is not an hyperbole to say that there is some “The Wayward Sons Of Mother Earth” taste in it. “Change Is Coming” slows things a bit down but keeps the lyrics sharp while using some mandolin-sounding strings on the side of the trademark violin melodies. And speaking of ‘trademark’, you should check the “A Heavy Price To Pay” with the hard-hittin’ groove which reminds me bit of “Spinning Jenny” (in a less heavy way though). The playful violin melodies will definitely urge to dance your way through this one. One song that snuck up on me after the first album spins was “Words Fail Me” with its kind of sad intro part that builds the tension up which finds its way through via the guitar distortion and the faster tempo showing up as emotional outburst. The main melody carried by the violin and then by the chorus is sticky and absolutely sing-along worthy. After the guitar-solo driven “The Measure” and its heavy groove, comes “Borderline” with awesome nice guitar  /violin riffs and some Jazz-type piano part which will remind you that SKYCLAD should not be considered as another typical Metal band, since the Progressive side in this band’s music is present in every album. Pay close attention to the killer guitar solo and feel the high level of inspiration when the Brits were inside the recording studio.

“Forward Into The Past” could not have been more fitting title for the fourteenth SKYCLAD LP because it will remind you of the band’s older studio efforts delivered in a modern way, meaning that there are quite a few new elements here which will take some listening time to reach the surface. Isn’t about time to see SKYCLAD crossing the Atlantic, or this is plain daydreaming?

9/10


Links:

www.Skyclad.Band
www.FaceBook.Com/OfficialSkycladPage


Tracklist:

01. A Storytellers’ Moon (intro)
02. State Of The Union Now
03. Change Is Coming
04. Starstruck?
05. A Heavy Price To Pay
06. Words Fail Me
07. Forward Into The Past
08. Unresolved
09. The Queen Of The Moors
10. Last Summer’s Rain
11. The Measure
12. Borderline
13. A Storytellers’ Moon (outro)


Lineup:

Kevin Ridley
Georgina Biddle
Steve Ramsey
Dave Pugh
Graeme 'Bean' English
Arron Walton