SKYCLAD have been and still are a phenomenon. In quite short succession they release their albums and still manage to release one killer after the other. Had the previous albums already excellent to brilliant, so their 1996-album "Irrational Anthems" most probably is their true masterpiece.
Twelve songs, different as hell, consisting of finest Folk Metal, again brilliant lyrics and characteristic vocals, another great cover-artwork of Duncan Storr, who had thought that the Brits had already shot their creative powder with "Prince Of The Poverty Line" and "The Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea" is impressively proved wrong here.
So far the folks around poet extraordinaire and sympathy-bolt Martin Walkyier could never convince from the very beginning to the very end in such an amazing manner, "Irrational Anthems" does not contain a single filler, but without exception killers. Heavy stuff, swinging Folk, balladesque - you name it, you get it.
"Inequality Street", "Penny Dreadful", "The Sinful Ensemble", "Science Never Sleeps", "History Lessens", they all stand for different facets of the SKYCLAD-sound, all packed into a very good production, which puts all the instruments onto an equal level, giving the compositions just the sound they need and deserve. Add to that the great cover-version of Aram Khatchaturyan's "Sabre Dance"… And to lose many words about Martin Walkyier's super-characteristic vocals would almost be a waste of letters, he sings more than ever, but still is incomparably and inimitably Walkyier!
And another trademark of the folks from Newcastle-upon-Tyne has not changed: The ingenious lyrics. Again packed into great word-games like "Inequality Street" or "History Lessens" Walkyier responds to really serious topics, but without the raised finger or shallow propaganda, managing to bring his own humour in it still, what makes his lyrics just plainly unique.
Who does not know SKYCLAD yet, "Irrational Anthems" is the ideal moment to right this wrong, because you won't get better Folk Metal anywhere!