|Review: Skyclad - The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea|
|The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea|
Label: Noise Records
Year released: 1995
Genre: Folk Metal
Review online: March 5, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea
Rated 4.43/5 (88.57%) (7 Votes)
I remember receiving a copy of Skyclad's 1991 debut album, The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth, when I was doing my radio show in college and thinking, "what the hell is this?" I certainly wasn't ready for the dawn of what we know now as "folk metal," but former Sabbat (the UK version) vocalist Martin Walkyier would not be denied. The band cranked out 10 albums in the nine years he handled the microphone and I've decided to go back and check out their fifth record, The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea, from 1995 to see if my tastes have changed.
The short answer is "yes." The music on The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea is not what I was expecting at all, which was lots of flutes, violins, and acoustic guitars with lyrics about druids or magic woodlands. Opening track "Still Spinning Shrapnel" opens with a huge power metal riff and gravelly vocals that reminded me of Running Wild. The songs that follow fully embrace the sea shanty melodies of Running Wild and add some of the pagan party energy of Korpiklaani and bring in the strings and wind instruments I expected, though in more supporting roles. Not satisfied with just that approach, Walkyier and crew bring in Middle Eastern chants and electronic beats on "The Stranger in the Garden" before switching back to the folky, metallic vibe of the rest of the album. You can even pick out some early Pink Floyd vocal lines and solo work. The lyrics deal with not only fantasy topics but also more modern ideas. So yeah, there's a lot happening on The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea.
Skyclad made it OK to combine metal with folk instruments and while I can't speak to any of the other records, as I haven't listened to them, The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea is a solid and enjoyable album.
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