Oh, now that's somewhat of a surprise. SKYCLAD have re-discovered Rock/Metal! After the two very calm albums "Oui Avant-garde A Chance" and "The Answer Machine?" "Vintage Whine" is showing a re-found crunch!
As these two albums were very much folk-oriented, the addition of Kevin Ridley as second guitarist has apparently resulted in SKYCLAD once more combining the energy of Folk with the crispness of Rock/Metal, as on "Irrational Anthems" and before, but without beginning to repeat themselves (what is something truly remarkable given the many releases of the band!).
The guitar (the electric one, of course) again stands equally beside the violin and forms a symbiosis, which is for me the almost perfect amalgamation of Folk and Metal, in a consequence and kind that only SKYCLAD bring to CD. So the by then ninth album of the band again showcases a balanced mixture of energetic up-tempo-crackers and calm, more emotional tracks, whereas a slightly more modern sound to the guitars is absolutely not negative, but is very harmonically integrated in the overall sound.
Songs like "Vintage Whine", "A Well Besides The River", "No Strings Attached", "Cancer Of The Heart" or "Something To Cling To" are classical SKYCLAD, energetic, original, variable, witty, just like we all love them. And of course Martin Walkyier's two trademarks can be found as well, his characteristic, charmingly lisping voice and his no less characteristic, ingenious lyrics…
Although the two previous albums for themselves had been strong records, too, so these finally are "my" SKYCLAD again, where Folk and Metal go equally hand in hand. So thumbs up again!