The Clan Destined
In the Big Ending

Release date: April 2006
See web address below

Pagan thrash metal

Rating: 91/100
Cover artwork rating: 85/100
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen

Date: June 11th 2006

Somewhere 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!).  

After 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.  

After 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.  

For those who cared, like myself, occasional visits to 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.  

And 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 demo CD.  

Who 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.  

I 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. 

The CD has a big, juicy sound and rest assured that there is not a single sign of demo amateurism here.  

For fans of bonafide Walkyier eloquence and thrash metal. Go visit the website this minute!