Skyclad‘s previous album, 2009’s In The… All Together, was one of the band’s finest releases, but after a few years with nothing new I started to worry that it would their last. Then I saw the band playing a blinding live set in Edinburgh in 2015 and followed that up with an interview with Steve Ramsey in which I was assured the band were working on a new album. And from what Steve told me, I came away with high hopes that the new album would be more than worth the wait and one of their strongest releases yet…
And I’m delighted to say that with Forward Into The Past the band have more than met my expectations – because this is an impressive album of folk metal that shows that Skyclad have plenty of years left in them yet!
If you’re a fan of Skyclad’s previous albums you’ll know what to expect – beautifully crafted songs that perfectly combine elements of rock, metal and folk music to create something rather special. In terms of heaviness, Forward Into The Past continues where In The… All Together left off, and is more rocky, less thrashy in nature than some of the band’s earlier albums – though that’s no bad thing, resulting songs that are less extreme and more catchy. The variety of styles and influences are subtly varied, meaning that the album has a cohesive sound to it, while providing a varied listening experience.
Subject wise, the album deals with the usual Skyclad themes concerning politics, the environment, and the music business and so on, as well the traditional bawdy / drinking type of songs – meaning that Skyclad still sound as relevant as ever. Check out the official video to ‘Change Is Coming‘ and see what I mean –
This is a fantastic album, and if you’re a fan of Skyclad, folk metal, or bands that aren’t afraid to experiment, then you have to buy yourself a copy of this album – awesome stuff !!
Score: 9 out of 10
01. A Storytellers Moon (Intro)
02. State of the Union Now
03. Change Is Coming
05. A Heavy Price to Pay
06. Words Fail Me
07. Forward into the Past
08. Unresolved (Instrumental)
09. The Queen of the Moors
10. Let summer’s Rain
11. The Measure
13. A Storytellers Moon (Outro)
28th of April 2017
Kevin Ridley (vocals, keyboard, guitar)
Georgina Biddle (violin)
Steve Ramsey (guitar)
Dave Pugh (guitar)
Graeme ‘Bean’ English (bass, acoustic guitar)
Arron Walton (drums)