Posts Tagged ‘Sanctuary Records’

Skyclad wayward.jpg

After I don’t know how many years of not owning this record, I finally got a hold of a copy of the first (?) ever folk metal record from British heroes Skyclad. ‘The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth’ is a genre defining and iconic record, and may have never been bettered by the hundreds of bands it spawned. I picked up the 2017 deluxe release, and after 18 years, does it still give the same chills?

Simply, yes. ‘The Sky Beneath My Feet’ immediately buries itself deep into your memory, with the influences of their lineage from Sabbat and Satan coming through strongly. Ostensibly a British thrash record, what would germinate into folk metal begins to show face in the now famous ‘The Widdershins Jig’, but the galloping heavy metal of ‘Trance Dance (A Dreamtime Walkabout)’ burns with Martin Walkyier’s snarl. Even if it hadn’t birthed folk metal, Skyclad would have at minimum added another classic to the uneven lineage of British thrash. The killer ‘Our Dying Island’ is my favourite, but it is pushed very close by ‘Cradle Will Fall’. ‘The Widdershins Jig’ is the iconic folk metal seed, but as much credit can go to ‘Moongleam and Meadowsweet’ as well for its acoustic folk laden melodies.

On the face of it, the actual ‘folk metal’ credentials of ‘Wayward Sons of Mother Earth’ are mostly limited to the one or two songs, the cover and the legacy it began. The likes of ‘The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea’ and ‘Jonah’s Ark’ definitely embraced the folk more, but you would be a fool to discount what this record means. The source of an embryonic idea, but also one of the finest and quirkiest thrash records to escape from this isle.

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