Skyclad - A Burnt Offering For The Bone Idol
Noise Records
Folk/Thrash Metal
10 songs (44:16)
Release year: 1992
Skyclad, Noise Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Just six months after their debut Skyclad released their second full-length, taking the Folk elements hinted at on The Wayward Sons Of Mother Earth much further but falling short of the Folk Metal sound that we know and love. It’s a more melodic, less Thrashy album all around, although there are still plenty of Thrash moments; an uneven mixture of Thrash and uneasy Folk Metal. New member Fritha Jenkins takes over fiddle and keyboard, and does a good job when she’s allowed to, although all too often the Folk moments are swallowed up by the galloping Thrash guitars, and it makes for a strangely unbalanced album.

The best way to sum A Burnt Offering... up is as Skyclad taking the first experimental steps down a path to perfection. Moments like A Broken Promised Land and the acoustic Ring Stone Round, where Walkyier’s clean singing comes to the fore, are very good indeed, the latter especially showing the emotion which the band put into their music. Yet for every great track there are two average ones; the mid-paced Karmageddon (The Suffering Silence) being utterly forgettable, and Salt On Earth (Another Man’s Poison) which may have moments of fiddle and some rather great riffing, but seems rather oddly dull when you compare it to other tracks.

Still, it’s not all bad. Men Of Straw has an interesting interlude, the acoustic guitars and fiddle doing their thing, whilst the epic R’vannith hints strongly at future glories with the Folk elements well implemented. Spinning Jenny is a Skyclad classic, mixing the Folk and Metal perfectly to create a kickass song that’s the catchiest two minutes and forty four seconds on the album. The Declaration Of Indifference is a cheerful highlight, too, but my second favourite song on the album (after the killer Spinning Jenny, of course) is actually the final one, the miserable Alone In Death’s Shadow, which finishes proceedings on a fine note with its dirge like-balladic sense of melody, and a completely fantastic performance from Walkyier nearly bringing tears to the eyes.

Although it’s hardly an excellent album, A Burnt Offering is saved due to the fact that it has enough good songs to make it worthwhile. If you want to hear Skyclad at their best then a later starting point is definitely recommended, but fans of the band should by no means skip this, despite the formula being only partially written.

Killing Songs :
A Broken Promised Land, Spinning Jenny, Men Of Straw, The Declaration Of Indifference, Alone In Death’s Shadow
Goat quoted 76 / 100
Other albums by Skyclad that we have reviewed:
Skyclad - Vintage Whine reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Skyclad - The Answer Machine reviewed by Goat and quoted 76 / 100
Skyclad - Oui Avant-Garde A Chance reviewed by Goat and quoted 58 / 100
Skyclad - Irrational Anthems reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
Skyclad - The Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
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