The Clan Destined - In The Big Ending
Bard To Verse
Thrash/Heavy Metal
6 songs (27:21)
Release year: 2004
The Clan Destined
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

As frontman for two of the best British Metal bands that there were, Martin Walkyier helped to shape the genre in the eighties and nineties with his firebrand Pagan vocals. With both Thrash legends Sabbat (recently reformed for live shows) and Folk Metal geniuses Skyclad, his sharp, sarcastic lyrics and distinctive delivery were much of what made his bands as great as they were. After his sad departure from Skyclad in 2001, hopes were high as he announced a new project featuring a dream line-up that included former Immortal bassist Iscariah, and Sabbat guitarist and Metal producer extraordinaire Andy Sneap, Obituary and Death icon James Murphy filling out guitar. For reasons still not entirely public, the band split acrimoniously, with just six songs recorded.

The colossal waste is apparent from a single listen to In The Big Ending, an official release of the demo tracks. Even for a demo, the songs here are uniformly superb, continuing the era of Walkyier-era Skyclad without repeating it. Playing is excellent, as you would rightly demand from a line-up of this skill, and the great man himself is on fine form, spitting out his furious, poetic lyrics that take on typical targets like organised religion and war, as well as some typically tender ‘ballads’ that are as Metal as any song present.

All the credit can’t go to Walkyier, though. Iscariah has writing credits on every song, and this was a promising partnership indeed. From Swinging Like Judas, the Thrashy opening rip, to keyboard-heavy anthems like I Am Because We Are, there isn’t a poor track on offer. A Beautiful Start To The End Of The World touches Power Metal territory whilst ominous closing song More Than War is a personal highlight, using an excerpt of Siegfried Sassoon’s war poetry particularly effectively.

This is of too much quality to be relegated to Walkyier fanboys and girls. Whether or not the man will continue with Sabbat, or, as he originally said, quit music altogether and stick to writing, this is a fitting part of his legacy, and all that this scribe can do is to wish him well whatever he does. This is ultimately for forward-thinking motherfuckers everywhere, to quote the lyrics, and metalheads of all shapes and sizes will get considerable pleasure out of it.

Note: this is available from the band’s website only, in limited numbers, with a fold-out poster and t-shirt included

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