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metal talk
5th September 2017


One of the most exciting and intriguing Folk Metal billings ever is approaching and there's plenty of new music to get your ears round from both bands too.

Skyclad were the very first Folk Metal band. Some say it was Ireland's Cruachan but Skyclad do pre-date them by at least two years and most definitely released material before their Emerald Isle counterparts so we're declaring the Nottingham/Newcastle based outfit as the founding fathers and now things have gone full circle.


The Kevin Ridley fronted social/political commentators are to support one of the world's top Folk Metal bands, the mighty Ensiferum, on the first European leg of their 'Two Paths' world tour which begins on September 26th and will carry on across the globe well into 2018 and possibly beyond.

Skyclad have a new album out, 'Forward Into The Past', which came out earlier this year in Europe on Listenable Records and you can check out the official video for the song 'Starstruck?' right here:

Skyclad frontman Kevin Ridley told us:

"As part of our continuing promotion for the new album, 'Forward Into The Past', Skyclad are pleased to announce the release of a new video for the track 'Starstruck?'. The video has again been produced by Fernando J Martinez, but adopts a very different approach to that of the recent lyric video for 'Change Is Coming'.

"The cover artwork for 'Forward Into The Past' was painted by Duncan Storr, who has previously worked with Edge Of Sanity, Rage and Hawking. The cover displays the mesmerizing face of a man made out of trees and branches. The 'green man' or 'storyteller' image used here is a traditional image (from Roman times at least in the UK) which is usually taken as 'showing the close interdependence between man and nature.


"That natural feel is also largely expressed in the album production. I think the new album sounds, warm, natural and 'real', i.e. not processed or overproduced.

"The songs are about politics, the environment and the music business and so on. These are mixed with the standard Skyclad fayre of traditional bawdy/drinking type of songs and songs with blues and more 'ethnic' feel

The new Ensiferum album, 'Two Paths', was delivered to the MetalTalk offices last week and it most certainly has lived up to expectations. Previous album, 'One Man Army', scored our Album Of The Year 2015, a year that both Iron Maiden and Motörhead both released new albums, and there was always a concern that Ensiferum had peaked but worry not - 'Two Paths' contains all you would and should expect and a lot more.


Sami Hinkka told us:

"When we made 'One Man Army', we wanted it to sound more like a live album than a traditional studio album. With 'Two Paths', we took that to the next level with analogue recording, cutting down tracks and even recording songs without a click, and because of that there is a totally different kind of groove compared to most modern Metal albums.

"It all comes down to writing music that sounds good to us and is fun to play live, and I would say with 'Two Paths' we've done everything better than we ever have before."

Never rushing to finish songs, 'Two Paths' includes some that were first demoed seven years ago, and due to the care and attention the band invests in everything they do, they maintain an enviably high standard.

It is also a record with energy to spare, practically daring the listener to resist being caught up in its infectious liveliness. Check out the magnificent 'For Those About To Fight For Metal' right here and look out for plenty more on Ensiferum in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, Sami has a message for fans worldwide:

"I guess everyone who starts to play music will dream at some point of playing music they made for massive crowds, but I never believed that this would be a dream that would come true for me. We have achieved a lot and hopefully there is still much more to achieve.

"We are really privileged to be in this situation and we wouldn't be where we are today without the right people on our side, all the intensive touring we have done, but most of all our loyal and crazy fans around the world. You make this all possible, and we salute you!"


Confirmed European tour dates, many more to follow:
September 26th: Bochum, Germany - Zeche
September 27th: Langen, Germany - Stadthalle
September 28th: Arnhem, Netherlands - Luxor Live
September 29th: Berlin, Germany - SO36
September 30th: Osnabruck, Germany - Hyde Park
October 1st: Paris, France - La Machine

Skyclad also play Zaragoza's Iberian Warriors Metal Festival on 23rd September and Oberhausen, Resonanzwerk on 28th October and have been confirmed for Wacken Winter Nights in February. Ensiferum also play Lutakko, Jyvaskyla, Finland on November 3rd and two Russian dates in early December after their South American tour.


judas priest


monsters of rock

Monsters Of Rock In Full Flight is strictly limited to 300 worldwide and is available from 30th November but those ordering before 31st October will have their name published within a dedicated page in the book.

It's a deluxe 128 page hardback book in a metal flight case with a narrative by Jerry Bloom.

When promoter Paul Loasby put on the first Monsters Of Rock Festival in 1980 he could probably never have imagined it would become an annual event that would endure for so many years.

Featuring bands from the UK, Germany, Canada and USA, Loasby chose to stage the event at the Donington race circuit in the middle of England and it would prove to be a defining moment for many of the bands on the bill.

Not least for headliners Rainbow as it was the their last ever show to feature drum legend Cozy Powell. As it would happen it turned out to be the last for vocalist Graham Bonnet as well. For many of the other bands on the bill such as Scorpions, Judas Priest and Saxon, they were all on the ascendancy and would soon go on to even greater success.

Now in celebration of this first ever Monsters Of Rock Festival comes this hardback book full of glorious photos of the bands that took to the stage for that inaugural event including back stage shots. Most of these shots have not been published before which add to the uniqueness of this deluxe 128-page book which is packaged in its own flight case.

Also included are stories surrounding the event with tales and recollections from those who were there, including artists and fans alike. Each book will be signed by the author. The 300 will sell fast and definitely go on to become collector's items so order yours now right here to avoid disappointment.


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