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Hopefully the name Martin Walkyier does ring a bell, not only in the ears of Metal veterans ... One of his bands Sabbat has recently been revived, so the festival audience at British Hellfire and Hammerfest will have a chance to see Martin live on stage again. With Skyclad he became one of the most important influences - if not inventor - of the European Pagan Folk Metal scene. Moreover, Martin is one of the nicest people who walk this earth, as the writer of these lines had the honour & pleasure to discover... In the last couple of years Martin rather focused on the written word than on those set to music, and also this album is not quite new. Initially The Clan Destined "In The Big Ending..." was only available as download from the project´s website, but now Lime Records releases a "hardcopy" version of this extraordinary project, remastered by Andy Sneap, plus bonus DVD of the amazing Blue Dog Films video to "A Beautiful Start to The End of The World".
The Clan Destined unites various prestigious musicians, e.g. James Murphy (Testament, Opeth, who also co-produced this album with Andy Sneap) and Les Smith (Anathema, Cradle Of Filth), therefore also the musical styles vary, so you better don´t expect a "Skykclad Mark II". There are tracks that rather remind of Pain with aggression and a "modern" sort-of-Heavy-Pop-sound, others have some Hollenthon appeal (tough Death-Metal like sounds, with classical music/ethno samples), and others - like the opener "Swinging Like Jesus" - hit you in the face with a straight-forward Motörhead-punch`n`groove. And I´d rather interpret "Devil For a Day" as irony, not only lyrically but also musically, because it´s sooo cheesy&smooth that Martin cannot possibly be serious about that one...
The lyrics are - naturally - very explicit, critical and political, as Martin has always made his (Pagan, socially & environmentally aware) point of view unmistakeably clear. Another unique aspect is his voice and vocal style that naturally stands out, so if you´re looking for a record not only interesting to listen to in terms of music, but also offering lyrics that offer some brain food, you got to get this one. Btw, if you haven´t heard of Sabbat or Skyclad, I can only recommend to check those, too, as I think that any good Metal CD collection should at least contain one of those...
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