Archive for Skyclad

Cryptic Age – Homeland EP [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-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

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Metieval @ 41 East Coast [Live Review]

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