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The Clan Destined - In The Big Ending (CD)

The Clan Destined
In The Big Ending
by Chris Downie at 21 June 2006, 7:04 AM

If the names Sabbat and Skyclad mean nothing to you, then it is suffice to say that you are oblivious to a moderately succcessful, but HUGELY influential, slice of heavy metal history. Those who have worn-out their copies of Dreamweaver (1989, Noise Records) however, will know exactly what to expect from diminutive frontman Martin Walkyier. The man who played an integral part in creating the considerable legacies of these bands has returned with a new project, dubbed as a Pagan Creative Collective, and continues to craft songs which are both articulate and thought-provoking.

  It is a sad indictment of this all-too-fickle music business that Sabbat are now best known for being producer extraordinaire Andy Sneap's (Arch Enemy, Nevermore, Biomechanical, etc.) old band. Yet along with Xentrix, Sabbat forged their way along the path towards metal legend, with the classic albums History Of A Time To Come (1987, Noise Records) and the stunning masterpiece Dreamweaver. After his tenure in the band came to a sanctimonious end, Walkyier joined the folk-metal legends Skyclad in 1990 and continued to mesmerise with his intelligent and unique brand of lyric writing. Now, after a few years of toying with various song ideas, the debut release of latest project The Clan Destined has finally seen the light of day.

   Back in the 80's, thrash metal was considered the reserve of the USA Bay Area and the German/Swiss axis which produced the likes of Kreator, Destruction, Sodom, Coroner and Celtic Frost. Prominent British thrash bands were few and far between. Based in Nottingham, England, The Clan Destined have clearly been inspired by Walkyier's previous tenures in music, yet by no means is this a mere re-tread of past glories. Indeed, the variety and depth of the material is striking, underpinned by ex-Immortal bassist Iscariah's excellent work.

  Conversely, many listeners may see this diversity as a drawback, in the sense that the recording lacks cohesion and has no uniform direction. This is not unreasonable, given that the tracks range significantly, from the streaight-forward metal of opening track Swinging Like Judas, to the melodic rock of A Beautiful Start To The End Of The World. The occasional use of keyboards also adds texture to what is a very well-rounded production, yet stands in firm contrast to the harsher tones of the aforementioned opener.

  Nevertheless, while some quibbles are understandable (and subsequently inevitable, given the high standards of Martin's previous work), this is a recording which was never intended to catch the coat-tails of any current trends, nor to appease the whims of any fairweather fans with five-minute attention spans. In The Big Ending is a project which showcases the captivating lyricism of one of metal's most intelligent, yet cruelly underrated, frontmen. Fans of Sabbat and Skyclad can now rejoice, for the Gods have bestowed upon us one more great offering. If this is indeed to be his last project as rumoured, then old and new fans alike can be rest assured that Walkyier has gone out on a high!

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Swinging Like Judas
I Am Because We Are
T.C. Lethbridge
A Beautiful Start To The End Of The World
Devil For A Day
More Than War
Martin Walkyier - Vocals
Kara Sutra - Vocals
Lee Cassidy - Guitar
Tony Wildwood - Guitar
Iscariah - Bass
Emily Dolan Davies - Drums


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