Skyclad - Another Fine Mess

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Demolition Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:17:00

Skyclad, for me, are not the easiest band to listen to. Whilst I adore their writing skills (in particular their lyrics), I find that their musical compositions, whilst skilful and well thought out, often lack a bit of feeling (sacrilege I know). I just find that they concentrate too much on writing socially apt lyrics rather than on creating musical magic. But that is my prejudice more than the fault of the band itself. Thus, I was kind of reluctant to review this album ... a combination live and studio disc.

Whilst I haven't been turned around completely after soaking up Another Fine Mess, hearing Skyclad play live (and this is their first official live disc) was interesting to say the least. Not being overly familiar with the early stuff, it all sounded rather new to me and I could suddenly hear the melodies of the music, the energy of the band, and the Skyclad trademark - that folk metal sound that pops up in other bands nowadays. For your information, the live tracks were recorded back in 1995 at the Dynamo Festival in Europe, which meant the time when Martin Walkyier was still on vocals. Martin chats with the crowd and there is a certain genuineness in his performance. This live performance showcases Martin's passion in his voice and Skyclad's intricate music. Georgina Biddle's violin comes through perfectly and again I found the live performances of Skyclad's material to be more charismatic. The studio component of Another Fine Mess resulted from a limited pressing of Skyclad's Outrageous Fortunes EP which had approximately 1000 pressings. This four track acoustic set shows a sombre side to their music. In contrast to the energetic live set, this melancholic acoustic set is one of the things that makes this stand out.

As clichéd as it sounds, if you are a fan of Skyclad then you'll purchase this blindly. If you're not a fan, then it might turn you towards them like it did me. If you haven't heard them before, try one of their earlier studio albums and check them out.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Intro / Another Fine Mess / Cardboard City / Art-Nazi / The Wickedest Man / In The World / The One Piece Puzzle / Still Spinning Shrapnel / Just What Nobody Wanted / Sins of Emission / Land of The Rising Slum / Alone In Death's Shadow / Sinning Jenny

Martin Walkyier - vocals
Georgina Biddle - violin, keyboards
Steve Ramsey - guitars
Graeme English - bass
Dave Ray - guitars
Jed Dawkins - drums

The Wayward Sons Of Mother Earth (1991)
A Burnt Offering For The Bone Idol (1992)
Tracks From The Wilderness (ep) (1992)
Jonahs Ark (1993)
Thinking Allowed? (1993)
Prince Of The Poverty Line (1994)
The Silent Whales Of The Lunar Sea (1995)
Old Rope (1996)
Irrational Anthems (1996)
Oui Avant Garde A Chance (1996)
The Answer Machine (1997)
Outrageous Fortunes (ep) (1998)
Vintage Whine (1999)
Classix Shape (ep) (1999)
Folkémon (2000)
Another Fine Mess (2001)
'Swords Of A Thousand Men' (single) (2001)
No Daylights... Nor Heel Taps (2002)
A Semblance Of Normality (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin UK

Added: February 20th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 1031
Language: english


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