Archive for Skyclad

Band of the Month: Ravenage [09/2012]

Posted in Band Of The Month with tags , , , , , , , on 8th September 2012 by Nico Davidson

Following an epic battle of votes, none other than Hull-based Viking warband Ravenage came out as the victor.

Formed back in the cold winter nights of 2007, the band have gone on to forge together a unique, powerful and epic sound, along with three releases under their sword belts. Ravenage have also shared the stage with the likes of Skyclad and Hecate Enthroned, as well as Viking metal heavyweights Tyr. Later this month, Ravenage will also be partaking in the first ever Warhorns festival, where they will be playing with the likes of Skyforger, Nothgard and Wolfchant, as well as Cryptic Age, Old Corpse Road and Norderobring.

So, if you like your metal loud, heavy, melodic, vicious and more epic than Lord of the Rings, Ravenage are well worth checking out.

http://facebook.com/officialravenage

Power Quest confirmed to headline revived Metieval festival

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 27th August 2012 by Nico Davidson

April last year, Hull saw the last Metieval festival, which boasted acts such as Skyclad and Hecate Enthroned, along with more local acts such as XIII, The Occupier and Pastel Jack. Though a new revived Metieval was meant to happen October of last year, it never came about.

Recently, the festival’s organisers Glyn Beasely and Stig Styles set out to bring Metieval back to life on the metal scene of Hull. Just today, Power Quest have been announced to headline the newly revived Metieval festival. The event will take place on Sunday 16th December at the Piper Club in Hull.

Further details, including ticket prices, full line-up and age limits, to be announced.

Other band son the bill include Infernal CreationAlice In Thunderland and Battalions.

Cryptic Age – Sounds Of Infinity

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 11th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Cryptic Age
Sounds Of Infinity
Released 26th May 2012
Power-Folk Metal
Self-Released

Cryptic Age are a relatively young band on the metal scene but they’ve already penned a mighty beginning to what could be a very long legacy which includes sharing the stage with folk metal legends Skyclad and black metal heroes Hecate Enthroned, as well as the release of their debut EP last year and it doesn’t end there, Cryptic Age will be sharing the stage with Latvian folk metal heavyweights Skyforger in September at the first ever Warhorns Festival, as well as playing Metalcamp a month before and this year has seen the release of their first full-length release: Sounds Of Infinity, an album that I’ve been waiting to hear since they announced they were recording it. I think it’s safe to say I may have got a little excited when I received it.

Sheayn ny Feaynid is the first track of the album and what a way to begin the album. The dark orchestration and monologue create a very mythic yet tragic sound which really does set the mood. Maelstrom follows next with a powerful symphonic sound blended in more hard rock styled riffs. The vocals are impeccable, adding an undoubtful spirit to the track. The chorus is very poignant, staying with you long after listening to the song. The tribal-like drumming of Fortuneteller signals in a change of sound for the album, with a use of exotic sounding riffs that tease the ears in a similar manner to a fine wine teasing the taste buds. The vocals are very harrowing, which suits the mystical and exotic soundings of the keyboards and the callous guitar and bass sections. The guitar solo embeds a modern sound into the track, which fortunately doesn’t dampen the track.

Horsemen of the Vale signals another change of sound for the album, ushering grand, majestic and epic riffs. The vocal sections are very arioso and dulcet. The keyboards really shine out in parts of the song, keeping the symphonic element strong. The end of the song has a genius touch with the sound of a glass smashing followed “Bloody Lancashire bastard. I’ll have ya!” – Though I doubt anyone other than Yorkshire folk will appreciate that section. The beginning of The Aftermath sounds like a scene from 300 before the Ensiferum-like riffs ravage through the speakers like a horde of angry Celts. The vocals, much like the guitars and drum sections, are strong yet aggressive. The monologue towards the halfway point of the track is mystifying and enchanting and the section that follows after is a beautiful yet savage mixture of symphonic and heavy elements. The calmer section, composed of flutes leads back into the Ensiferum-like riffs, rather masterfully. Sea Invocation is possibly the most bewitching song on the album, containing a medieval essence. It’s an unexpected track and yet it fits ever so perfectly on the album. It’s certainly a track any fans of Celtic music.

Perpetually Blind (Sounds of Infinity: Part I) begins with an enchanting vocal melody that gradually leads into a mighty symphonic piece. The guitar riffs are interesting, sounding like a twisted power metal riff. The symphonic parts of the track add a very august sound to the track, making it feel more tragic than one of Shakespeare’s plays. The next track Eternity Beckons (Sounds Of Infinity: Part II) carries on the aphotic sound, with the vocals sounding extra gloomy whilst the guitars and drums thrum on like a finely tuned machine. The monologue adds a mystique to the track, fitting in well with the aphotic sound of the quadrilogy. Seeking The Cure (Sounds of Infinity: Part III) begins with a keyboard section that eerily sounds like something from a Final Fantasy game mixed in with a dash of post-Tarja Nightwish. The orchestration and guitars make or an interesting blend throughout the track, as do the drums in certain sections. One of the most interesting sections of the song is the bluesy solo. Sounds Of Infinity (Sounds Of Infinity: Part IV) ushers in the end of the album, beginning with a whisper followed by a callous and heavy barrage of guitars, drums and keys. The Gaelic sound parts of the song certainly conjure up one’s inner Celt (or in my case, one’s Scottish and Irish heritage), adding a unique, hypnotic sound to the album. The vocals are mesmerizing and dynamic, enforcing the unique sound of the song, while the guitars and bass are more on the aggressive, inserting some fierce excitement to the track.

I’m not quite sure how to summarise my thoughts on the album into one last paragraph as I’ve never heard an album quite like this. Each track seems to take on a life of its own and tells a different story through the music. Cryptic Age have surpassed so many bands of their genre with this release and have proven themselves, once again, a folkin’ force to be reckoned with. Cryptic Age are definitely one of the finest folk metal bands on the scene and Sounds Of Infinity might just become an influential album on the scene.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Cryptic Age – Eternity Beckons

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 24th May 2012 by Nico Davidson

Band: Cryptic Age
Single: Eternity Beckons (Sounds of Infinity II)
Release date: 18th May 2012
Genre: Power-Folk Metal
Label: Unsigned/Self-Released

Cryptic Age have been a rising star in the UK’s metal scene over this year and they’ve done a lot more in their first year than most bands do, including sharing the stage with big names such as Skyclad and the release of their debut EP Homeland. Recently Cryptic Age were confirmed to play Metalcamp this year. So, it’s come to no surprise that their album Sounds Of Infinity will soon be available and just to tease us a little, they released Eternity Beckons (Part two of the Sounds of Infinity series).

Eternity Beckons starts up with a dark, tense symphonic introduction, in a similar vein to Epica, though much more darker. The guitar riffs are heavier than what I’m used to hearing performed by Cryptic Age, but I’m not complaining since they match up well with the atmosphere of the song. The vocals are beautifully performed, though somewhat haunting, almost siren-like. The narrative part, roughly halfway through, creates a certain enchanting mystique. The drums and bass bounce off each other magnificently through the song, working well with the guitars and the occasional keyboard section.

There’s very few songs that send chills up my spines upon hearing them and Eternity Beckons is now amongst them – Of course, I mean that in the good sense since it’s very rare to find a song of such epic proportions. The song has that unique Cimmerian shade about it that helps add the emotion and beauty to the song. Though the song does stray away from what I’m used to hearing from Cryptic Age, it still is a fine composition and has made me somewhat more impatient to hear the album.

Nico Davidson

Interview: Tom Keeley [Feb 2012]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 12th February 2012 by Nico Davidson

Cryptic Age are a York-based folk-power metal band consisting of your members. In the last year, they’ve played several gigs around the UK and have gone onto support acts such as Hecate Enthroned and Skyclad, as well headline our own Valkyrian Festival. With the future looking bright for this young band, Nico catches up with Cryptic Age’s bassist Tom Keeley.

Nico: When did you start learning bass and why?

Tom: Started playing bass when I was about 16. Some mates were big into AC/DC and wanted to start a tribute band and they said I looked a bit like Cliff Williams. So I bought a bass and started learning.

N: How did you become a part of Cryptic Age?

T: I was looking for a band as I had been floating in between bands, nothing special, some dodgy metal bands that were going nowhere. So I saw an ad that looked promising and took it up. I was the first to reply luckily, glad I was.

N: What’s the progress of the upcoming album, Sounds of Infinity?

T: The songs are almost all written, I think we might try for another two, maybe a cover, nothing is set in stone. But the bulk of the song writing is finished and we’re all really happy with the sound and looking forward to recording the new material, it’s going to sound massive! We have about half of the album recorded, songs we’ve had for almost a year. So progress is damn good.

N: Will you be touring when the album is out? If so, will you be touring Scotland as well as England?

T: A tour would be incredible but it all costs money, and with only two of us working it’s difficult to fund for just ourselves. But we certainly have gigs booked in the future, trying to get on some big dates. And we are always looking to play further away from home to spread the word, so Scotland would be great, I’ve heard there’s some fantastic venues in Glasgow.

N: Speaking of touring, which band would you most like tour with?

T: Personally I would love for us to tour with Rhapsody, that would be a dream. But in terms of bands we’ve played with already, I would love to play more with Infernal Creation, they are an awesome live band and the more chances I get to see them the better. Would be going to see them support Fleshgod [Apocalypse] but I already bought tickets for Steve Hughes!

N: Later this month, you’ll be supporting Tyr with your other band, Ravenage. How are you feeling about that?

T: It’s of course a great honour to support such a great band and it’s sure to be fun. Also a special gig for me, but maybe I’ll keep that to myself.

N: It’s still early on in 2012, aside for recording and releasing the new Cryptic Age album, what are your plans for the rest of the year?

T: We don’t really have a plan set out for the year. We had one goal last year that we came close to achieving but got pipped at the last hurdle. Maybe this year we can achieve it. Apart from that I guess the overall goal for the band is to get a label behind us to promote the music and play to larger audiences.

Band Of The Month [October, 2011]: Old Corpse Road

Posted in Band Of The Month with tags , , , , , on 1st October 2011 by Nico Davidson


The voting for October’s Band Of The Month began as a fierce competition between The Colour Line and ReVerbed, however, Darlington-based blackened folk metal quintet Old Corpse Road swooped in at the last minute and snatched victory quite unexpectedly gaining the majority of the votes. Old Corpse Road avoid the cliché black metal style of Satanic imagery, instead, their songs are about British folklore with masterfully written music and lyrics. Old Corpse Road have shared the stage with the likes of Hecate Enthroned, Northern Oak, Windrider and Skyclad.

Rating: 5/5

Links:

Official site: http://www.oldcorpseroad.co.uk/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Old-Corpse-Road/22944789821
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/oldcorpseroad

Band Of The Month [August, 2011]: Pastel Jack

Posted in Band Of The Month with tags , , , , , , on 3rd August 2011 by Nico Davidson

Pastel Jack are the Band of the Month for August 2011, following the results of the poll we did on the official Valkyrian Music Facebook page.
Pastel Jack are a four-piece metal band that hail from Kingston Upon Hull, East Yorkshire. They bring in a lot from their influences, which include Trivium, Alterbridge and Queen. Pastel Jack are well known for their aggressive and catchy hooks, technical drum work and powerful vocals.

They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Sworn Amongst, XIII, Clown Corpse, Skyclad and Violent Deception. They will also be playing at Valkyrian Festival and they have their first full-length album [Trojan Horse] due for release soon.

Band History

Pastel Jack was officially formed in 2007 when Neil Bailey took the place as the bands singer. They spent the next two years working on their sound, honing their skills live and writing.
In 2009 they entered the studio at ‘Silent City Studios’ in Leeds to record their first EP “Ghost in the Machine”
2011 Pastel Jack re-enter the studio to record their debut album “Trojan Horse”.

Pastel Jack – Synergy (Official Video)

Rating: 4/5

Website: http://www.pastel-jack.co.uk/
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/pasteljackvids
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pasteljack
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pastel-Jack/7625915799

Cryptic Age – Homeland EP [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13th June 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Cryptic Age
Album: Homeland EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Folk Metal/Power Metal

Since their formation, Cryptic Age have been a rising star in the British underground metal scene, having shared the stage with the likes of Ravenage, Hecate Enthroned, Windrider and Skyclad. “Homeland” is the first chapter in their epic saga.

The title track, “Homeland”, is the first track of the EP. It begins with the sound of thunder and rain. Vocals are soon heard over the rain. The Manx Gaelic lyrics are a great touch to the track, giving it a very Celtic feel. With the introduction of the symphonic sections, combined with the drums, bass and guitar the track turns aggressive yet beautiful. The vocals are monumentally powerful, more so than most soprano styled vocals. The symphonic elements bring a very intense, epic sound whilst the guitar, bass and drums bring good ol’ fashioned heaviness. The keyboard solo and the guitar solo that follows can only be described as “sagaic”.

”On The Cold Bare Ground” is the second track of the EP, beginning with a dark and mysterious sounding riff. The riff eventually transforms into a something heavier for a short while before going back to the softer, darker riff. The track does turn heavier again though with an increase in tempo. The vocals ring strongly throughout the track. The drum work is acute and precise. Like the previous track, the solos are mind-blowing.

The third track, “Bring Down The Sky” begins very folky, with an acoustic intro and a long symphonic note. The vocals work very well with this intro, conjuring up images of a small Celtic village. The drums add a new dynamic to the track as well. Whilst the first half of this track is slow paced, the second half increases the tempo. The guitar solo is astounding, brutal and masterfully played. The wittily named “No Folkin’ Way” is the second to last track of this so far majestic EP. Like the previous track, it has an acoustic and symphonic intro, though it is short lived before the electric guitar dominates. The symphonic sections are grand sounding, blending well with the guitar riffs, bass and drums. The only downside to this track is the lack of vocals.

The last track is “Paragons Of War”. Straight from the beginning, there is a somewhat heroic-sagaic sound resonating from the combination of drums, bass, guitars and keyboards. The vocals complete the track, adding a very majestic touch to it. The guitar and bass sections are brilliantly played and the drums are definitely are a highlight of the track. And the solos are nothing short of grand and noble.

Cryptic Age, despite been young, are clearly a talented quartet of musicians. No doubt that “Homeland” is but the first chapter in a long and legendary saga for these Yorkshire lads and lass. Female fronted metal has never sounded so good.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Metieval @ 41 East Coast [Live Review]

Posted in Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 17th April 2011 by Nico Davidson

Bands: Skyclad, Hecate Enthroned, Windrider, Cryptic Age, The Occupier, Pastel Jack, XIII and many more
Location: 41 East Coast, Hull
Date:  16th April 2011

Metieval is known for been one of the greatest music events in the Yorkshire region and it held true to that fact on 16th April in Hull. There was a buzz of excitement for this epic 12 hour event. The opening band for this epic 12 hour fray of rock and metal were Scunthrope rockers “The Occupier”. They performed a brilliant set which included songs such as “Sonny Chiba”, “Spoils of War” and “Addict in Wonderland”. Their set was one of the best of the night, they were good good to have been the opening band but certainly kept the crowd excited for the rest of the day!

The second band to perform were the mighty “Immolator” who proved to be heavy and brutal performers. Pastel Jack performed shortly after “Immolator”; making for an exciting festival so far especially with a cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver” and a brilliant performance of their own song “Condemned From The Start”. York based power-folk metallers “Cryptic Age” were the next to enter the fray bringing their immense mixture of pure folk metal-styled brutality and strong soprano vocals. They performed great songs like “Paragons of War” and “No Folkin’ Way”. Cryptic Age were certainly one of the best bands of the night and the crowd clearly enjoyed their amazing set.

Hull death metal quartet “Scatorgy” brought more brutality to Metieval with songs like “Traumatic Vaginal Escapades” and “Offspring Enslavement”. They certainly kept the crowd entertained with their heavy, in-your-face riffs. The critically acclaimed “Windrider” soon entered the fray performing songs their newest EP “A Warrior’s Tale”. The set was greatly performed, though some in the crowd were disappointed by the playback of the keyboard sections. “Violent Deception” performed just after “Windrider”.

More folk metal was performed at Meteival in the form of Sheffield-based “Northern Oak”. The best songs of their set were “Madness of the Feral Moon” and “Silvan Lullaby”. Hull-based “XIII” were the next to perform with their thrash-styled anthems such as “Eclipse” and “Longest Day”. “Old Corpse Road” soon performed after with brilliant songs such as “Devils Footprints” and “The Old Corpse Road”.

One of the highlights of the night was the performance by Bridlington classic rockers “Alice In Thunderland”. They performed four tracks from their album “Into The Darkest Night”, which were Into The Darkest Night, In The Beginning, Hush Now and  Always Forever. They also performed “Frozen” and “Take To The Limits” which are from their up and coming album. “Infernal Creation” played after them and Soulflame took to the stage after that with a very bluesy styled set which was brilliant for those in the crowd who needed a rest from the neck breaking brutality and ear-splitting heaviness of the other bands.

The highly anticipated “Hecate Enthroned” took the stage, bringing with them a grim and dark atmosphere. The best part of their set was the performance of “Beneath A December Twilight”. “Sworn Amongst” took the stage afterwards who were followed by folk metal outfit “Skyclad” who performed a song from each of their albums including “Spinning Jenny”, “Another Drinking Song” and “Parliment of Fools”.

Metieval has earned its reputation as Yorkshire’s best metal event and for good reason. Each band were amazing and the quality of their music is astounding. Those who missed it, missed out on something extremely epic.

Nico Davidson