"The Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea", the fifth full album by the Brits of SKYCLAD, for me has a meaning that clearly surpasses a normal relation to a CD. Everyone of you knows the chicken pox and everyone of you knows that you get them once, mostly as child, and then never think about it again. Well, once was not enough for me, so I got them for a pretty violent second time at the tender age 22. This resulted in a hefty eye-infection, which reduced by eyesight of the left eye to 30% (this may sound much, but in reality it is a very dense white veil, you basically see next to nothing anymore). But had been even worse than that was the psychic burden, the fear that it could last.
In just that time "The Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea" was released and I do not know how often I had listened to this CD during that time, but the music and especially the lyrics of Martin Walkyier somehow gave me the diversion and strength to stand through it. Even though I could have lost eyesight on that eye completely (thank God they only told me afterwards!), everything is at 100% again, but still since then I have this very special relation to this album and also the band…
But enough gibberish, you're not interested in that anyway, but the music. Well, compared to "Prince Of The Poverty Line" they have reduced the heaviness again and put more folk into the music, which suits SKYCLAD just as well, because everything still is pure SKYCLAD, the typical guitars, the use of the violin and of course Martin Walkyiers unique vocals in combination with his inimitable lyrics.
Despite the reduced heaviness the guitars still are juicy on tracks like "Still Spinning Shrapnel" or "Art-Nazi", but also the mid-tempo of a "Just What Nobody Wanted", "Another Fine Mess" or the strong "Halo Of Flies" can convince with a balanced mixture of Folk and Metal, while "The Present Imperfect" again is an atypically structured balladesque song. Also worth mentioning is the hidden track after just that ballad, "Dance Of The Dandy Hounds", a swinging Folk-song that should revive every party.
Also the lyrics, as on each SKYCLAD-album, are absolutely worth reading, serious topics with a lot of plays upon words and just amusing, Martin Walkyier is a true poet, just take up the booklet and read along, it is more than worth it!
Quality-wise "The Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea", despite being very good, can not fully compete with the two previous efforts "Jonah's Ark" and "Prince Of The Poverty Line", but still, to this day there is no weak SKYCLAD-album, period!