SKYCLAD – In The… All Together

SKYCLAD - In The... All Together
  • 9/10
    SKYCLAD - In The... All Together - 9/10


Scarlet Records
Release date: May 22, 2009

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Skyclad issued their second album without the veteran and highly acclaimed vocalist and astounding lyricist, Martin Walkyier. After Walkyier left the band in 2001, the band’s long time producer, Kevin Ridley, who also served as the band’s rhythm guitarist three years earlier to Walkyier’s departure, took on the vocals. With Ridley’s approaches regarding the band’s themes and vocal ability, which are rather the same as his former’s, Skyclad kept on going and three years later released Ridley’s official première as a vocalist, A Semblance of Normality. This album also brought Skyclad back to their past rougher periods of speed and heaviness, yet without the raspiness and evilness of Walkyier and of course, as in the band’s tradition, every step taken was done with a good taste and touch of the semi-Folk Metal elements that served them for almost two decades.

Under the great hands of a well done modern type production, In The….All Together was formed as Skyclad’s barn burner for this year, second for Ridley on vocals, and it came out with a sort of message that the English Metal machine will keep on going no matter what.

The album, as its former from 2004, pictured Skyclad as a Heavy Metal group with fine Folk Metal elements and it displayed them in a different light than on past albums from their repertoire similar to Vintage Wine, Folkemon and The Answering Machine?. Moreover, as time passed, with a process that started after the band’s second album, A Burnt Offering For The Bone Idol, Skyclad stepped farther and further from the Folk Metal emblem and advanced into the loving grasp of Heavy Metal while not embracing the NWOBHM sense. With this sort of passage, Skyclad left almost everything that had anything to do with Folklore as they differed themselves even more from other Folk Metal bands worldwide like Elvenking, Turisas, Falconer and Korpikklani. All that was left that could indicate that there was a connection to Folk was the use of the violin, however it could have been used whether its Folk or Death Metal. Even the band’s trait of Folklore themes came to back down as their lyrics, especially observed in their 1994 classic of the Prince Of The Poverty Line, the wholesome themes became connected to social matters incorporated by predicaments, corrosions and politics of the social infrastructure.

The amazing thing about Skyclad’s “transformation” is that with all their changes they still try to explore the Folk Metal world by using their same logo or using album covers that will surely link them to the sub-genre and with music that spreads a sheet of something different under a core that came to be modern and groovy like Heavy Metal, yet with real-time themes, while not addressing legends and such, you can actually accept Skyclad as a “Social” Metal band and that factor about them, bottom line, holds a lot of attention. That mentioned constituent partly explained why each of the Skyclad albums holds out a new deck of aces and why In The…All Together is a good album.

Surging into the cell phone intro of the opening track through discussions of cultures and to the final words of we are all together in our everyday troubles and misfortunes, Skyclad yet again showed their well known makers of tunes that even if they aren’t the best definitions to describe catchiness or even something that the average person will remember after the day is done, they still maintained their style of making songs and that is with absolute resourcefulness and ingenuity. A great majority of Skyclad’s material is solemnly original and one will have a hard time on comparing their stuff to others or, in the best of chances, will have almost nothing to contrast them with – their material is just that uncommon among the countless bands of the Metal world.

With In The…. All Together, musically, Skyclad showed a quantity of great grooves (“Babakoto”, “Black Summer Rain”, “Superculture”) that were hard to catch on their 90’s albums and with this album also came back several great classic like Heavy Metal riffs (“Hit List”, “Modern Minds”, “The Well Travelled Man”). Sections that always were on Skyclad’s payroll were the amazing lead violin passages, great cover keyboards and acoustics filled with overdriven rhythms (“Which Is Why”, “Words Upon The Streets”). In summary, you have a well-created album by a veteran crew, with its sparkle it seems that Walkyier’s departure didn’t affect the band’s performance to the negative direction. Skyclad keeps on doing it British style and will always be an important stone of the British Metal scene as they address their preaching almost to every corner, especially with their writing – they are the politicians of the British Metal scene.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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