|Review: Skiltron - The Clans Have United|
|The Clans Have United|
Label: Underground Symphony
Year released: 2006
Genre: Folk Metal
Review online: October 28, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:The Clans Have United
This is the debut album for Skiltron, who are an Argentinian band obsessed with Scotland. A lot of this album is pretty much just based on Braveheart, but I guess that shouldn't be a big surprise. I just find it odd when bands from other parts of the world are all about Celtic history. Anyway, this is a much stronger album than I was expecting, and I find myself liking it an awful lot.
Skiltron are a folk band, but they get props for not just using folky melodies or synths but genuine folk instruments from bagpipes to tin whistles. They skillfully and carefully interweave the metal and folk elements by having guitars play the folk melodies and the bagpipes or other traditional instruments take the place of the guitars during a solo, using this and assorted other effects, they successfully layer the folk and metal sounds together much, much more effectively than is usual for this type of band (*cough cough* Elvenking *cough cough* Cruachan *cough*)
None of this would work if the metal wasn't any good, but it is. While not as heavy as I might like, Skiltron build their songs on a speedy, hooky foundation of riffs and they don't wuss out when it comes to speed. Strong songs like "This Crusade" and "Coming From The West" make this a solidly enjoyable album from a straight metal perspective, and the clever use of folk instrumentation just adds to the atmosphere. If there is an unspectacular aspect of Skiltron, it is the vocals, which are not bad, but are far from great. At least Skiltron have the brains to double and triple-track the vocals to cover their limitations, but still, the vocals here are serviceable and no better. Overall, The Clans Have United is a better album than I expected, and it certainly speaks well for the future of Skiltron as a band.
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