Skyclad Folkemon

After a three (or so) album shift in focus - does the world really need folk-y drinking metal? - Skyclad's front-man and master of the play on words, Martin Walkyier, made mention in the UK press that this album would be markedly heavier, by virtue of being signed to a label called Nuclear Blast alone. And heavier it is, with attention paid to the chug-a-lugging riffs and the power they have in carrying the songs. The fiddle remains, but plays the role it was meant to play, that of a textualiser, an adjunct, just so much frosting. The sextet prove that metal, fiddles, smart lyrical waxing and the occasional lager can mix neatly; the best examples being the sweet, sweet mayhem of tracks like "The Great Brain Robbery," "Think Back and Lie of England," "The Anti-Body Politic" and "Any Old Irony?" There's also a share of mediocrity, but it's quite obvious that the heavier side of the metallic coin works better for these ageless Brits. (Nuclear Blast)