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Skyclad - Oui Avant-Garde A Chance (7,5/10) - Great Britain - 1996

Genre: Folk / Rock
Label: Swan Lake
Playing time: 54:03
Band homepage: Skyclad

Tracklist:

  1. If I Die Laughing, It'll Be An Act Of God
  2. Great Blow For A Day Job
  3. Constance Eternal
  4. Postcard From Planet Earth
  5. Jumping My Shadow
  6. Bombjour!
  7. History Lessens (The Final Examination)
  8. A Badtime Story
  9. Come On Eileen
  10. Master Race
  11. Bombed Out (Instru-Mental)
  12. Penny Dreadful (Full Shilling Mix)
Skyclad - Oui Avant-Garde A Chance

An experiment, this is what you most probably can best describe "Oui Avant-garde A Chance" as. No Metal anymore, but Folk-Rock, with much reduced guitars and a lot more pub-feeling, so to say.

SKYCLAD present us a completely different side of their sound in 1996, in which the Folk gets a much more prominent role than before (and after). Twelve songs are on the album, among them two re-recordings of two songs off the "Irrational Anthems"-albums and two cover-versions.

Without a doubt SKYCLAD manage to bring Folk nearer to Metal-fans, not least by paving the way with their unique style-mix on the albums before, somehow diffusing the borders between these two genres. At the position of the electric guitar stepped the violin, plus some bagpipes, mandolins and lots of acoustic guitars.

You could call it a very consequent evolution that the Brits have made with this album, you could never before complain about the musicianship anyway, even though some might miss the heaviness, but still the quartet managed to produce some vrey round sounding and moody compositions, which convince by their relaxed atmosphere and the lyrics, again, ooze irony and demand ("Great Blow For A Dayjob" or "Bombjour!").

The two cover-versions are by DEXY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS ("Come On Eileen") and NEW MODEL ARMY ("Master Race"), radiating the same flair as the self-compositions, being very well assimilated by the band's own sound.

So who regards the early (heavier) works of the band as his favoured era of SKYCLAD, might have a few problems with "Oui Avant-garde A Chance", but every open-minded fan should really check out this album!

Alexander Melzer



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