Skyclad - The Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea
Noise Records
Folk Metal
12 songs (50:50)
Release year: 1995
Skyclad, Noise Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Skyclad’s fifth album was the first to feature violinist Geogina Biddle, and it’s from here on that the band truly took off, setting a broad formula for their sound and making albums packed full of great songs. The Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea is far from insane, experimenting less than some of Skyclad’s other albums but when you have songs as good as opening pounder Still Spinning Shrapnel it’s hard to care. For the first time it seems that Martin Walkyier’s vocal lines have fully embraced catchiness, and the song’s all the better for it, a Thrashy antiwar anthem backed with violin that features a great chorus and an even better solo. The killer songs just keep on coming, including the epic, almost orchestral opening of Just What Nobody Wanted which soon switches to bouncy Punk-infused riffing, and the singalong slice of bitterness Art-Nazi, which is actually quite a serious look at artists losing control of their art. Walkyier’s lyrics are, of course, as excellent as ever, from the sarcastic whining of Just What Nobody Wanted to the bittersweet musings of Another Fine Mess; his lyrics are poetic, clever and full of the usual puns and wordplay, up there with Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson in my opinion.

The most experimental song on the album, Jeopardy, divides fans, but I’ll admit to enjoying it. Starting with children’s voices reciting nursery rhymes (it’s not as Korny as it sounds, fear not) and leading into a militaristic march backed by keyboards and swinging proggily along most enjoyably. Really, there’s not a weak song on the album, from the complex little slice of misery Brimstone Ballet through the Eastern-tinged A Stranger In The Garden, in which Martin sounds like Peter Gabriel from an old Genesis album, and there are breaks in the action for female chanting and ambience – the kind of effortlessly cinematic song that would have been top of the charts in a fair world. I could go on to describe each track (something I do as rarely as possible) but all are great, especially the build-up of Another Fine Mess and the sombre The Present Imperfect. As the inventors of Folk Metal, Skyclad still don’t get the respect they deserve from the Metal public; considering that outro The Dance Of The Dandy Hound alone is better than the collected works of Korpiklaani, In Extremo and Finntroll, it’s staggering that people who claim to love Folk Metal still aren’t familiar with its creators, and if you’re new to them then this is a great place to start.

Killing Songs :
Still Spinning Shrapnel, Art-Nazi, Jeopardy, A Stranger In The Garden
Goat quoted 86 / 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 - In The... All Together reviewed by Elias and quoted 80 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
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