The 3 piece German band Suidakra brings out the best in what has been classified as "pagan metal". Digging deep into Irish folklore, the band has delivered a mesmerizing concept piece called Crogacht. Based on the story of Cuchulainn and his journey to the Isle of Skye, Suidakra brings this tale to life with a furious blast of metal that is interwoven with Celtic themes to produce a breathtaking piece of music that is so perfectly balanced it will carry you on the mythical journey traveled by Cuchulainn and his son Conlaoch.
You will find yourself transformed to the Highlands as the epic piano, searing guitar and haunting bag pipes fill your ears at the opening of "Slan". This introduction to the album Crogacht is just the beginning of what is about to be unleashed upon you. With a fiery breath of metal majesty the band takes you into the world of Cuchulainn and to a time when there were true heroes. The growling vocals of Arkadius capture the essence of the work perfectly. He sounds like he might have just returned from the battle field or a journey to the Isle of Skye.
While this album is filled with a regality that sets it far above so many others in this genre, there is never a sense of it being over the top. It is a perfect blend of the terrific metal that is the bands trademark and the traditional music of many years ago. Suidakra has shown growth with each release and it is no surprise that with Crogacht the band once again proves that there is a way for the old and new to combine for a terrific piece of music.
While the metal fires burn in songs like "Conlaoch" and "Isle Of Skye" the band is not afraid to take a chance. Enlisting singer Tina Stabel for a twist of old world charm, the band puts you right into the battle with the terrific "Feats Of War". Her voice is one that will make you think of maidens and knights in the days of yore!
The best groups are those that are not afraid to take chances and push their music into new territories. Suidakra is such a group. Listening to the instrumental "Ar Nasc Fola" with its tin whistle and fantastic acoustic guitar work shows me that these guys have a deep appreciation of music in general. They have set out to tell a story and tell it they do! They also seem to let the tale itself decide what avenue the music will go. The band has done a masterful job bringing this tale to life and in such a way as to embrace the worlds of metal and the music of the age of the story itself. This is a fascinating work that will thrill you from start to end with its many faceted musical approach that never strays too far from the heart of what the band is all about. Metalheads, paganheads, music lovers of all kinds, revel in this album, there are far too few of this scope and magnitude. It is already found its place in my best of 2009!!
3. Isle Of Skye
5. Feats Of War
6. Shattering Swords
7. Ar Nasc Fola
8. Gilded Oars
9. Baile's Strand