in 1988 I bought an album that changed my perception of metal the way
any new inspiration can alter your way of thinking. An English band
called Sabbat released the seminal ‘Dreamweaver – Reflections of Our
Yesterdays’. This stuff was right down my alley; it was heavy metal,
it was thrash, it had great artwork and a fantastic story to go with it.
To this day, ‘Dreamweaver’ is on par with ‘Operation:Mindcrime’
and ‘Them/Conspiracy’ for yours truly (and I’m still looking for
’Dreamweaver’ on CD – I only have the vinyl version!).
the departure of vocalist Martin Walkyier, the band only released the
disastrous ‘Morning Has Broken’ (1991) and then faded out until
Walkyier revived Sabbat with his ‘Return to the Sabbat’ for a short
while and without guitarist and now mega-producer Andy Sneap.
Sabbat, Walkyier moved on to form folk-metallers Skyclad. On more than a
dozen releases he proved his marvellous skills with words and barked on
with his characteristic voice. An end came to this around the turn of
the millennium when Walkyier disbanded, allegedly due to the financial
hardships he always found himself in with the band.
those who cared, like myself, occasional visits to martinwalkyier.com
promised some sort of hope as there began to be mentions of something
called The Clan Destined. Onboard this project was among others former
Immortal bassist Iscariah – a fact that could be laid out as being
either scary or really interesting. For a long time there was this one
sound clip on the site, basically a thrashy riff section with no vocals.
And then, rather confusingly, the metal mags would have that Walkyier
had been kicked out by the rest of the band.
then just the other night, I’m surfing a bit and think of my old
inspirational source and what happens? A demo release is out and the
site is filled to the brim with Walkyier’s enthusiasm regarding the
Pagan massive that has emerged from this musical project! A couple of
days later I’m the proud owner of a TCD t-shirt and the impressive
would have thought that Walkyier and Sneap should be working together
again in 2006? I for one wouldn’t. Nonetheless, ‘In the Big
Ending’ holds not only six varied and quite brilliant tracks with
Walkyier’s scourching vocals, it is also produced by Andy Sneap and
death metal virtuoso James Murphy and has been adorned by lead guitar
work by both of these gentlemen.
like to think that musically this is where Skyclad could have headed if
the rest of the band hadn’t been so rooted in old-school heavy metal
and the folk tradition. There is not even the slightest hint of a pub
feeling here – it is straight-for-the-throat metal, and it is probably
thanks to Iscariah. Where the latest outing from Skyclad is heavy in a
rock way, TCD is heavy in a metal way, and it sounds as if Walkyier
feels like a well-fed goldfish in a bowl with plenty of space: he sounds
darker and meaner than he did before, and it’s good on him.
CD has a big, juicy sound and rest assured that there is not a single
sign of demo amateurism here.
fans of bonafide Walkyier eloquence and thrash metal. Go visit the
website this minute!