With Suidakra that is most definitely not a problem, and actually the melodic death metal seems to come before the folk elements do. I'm glad about that, because with bands like Eluveitie where the folk elements are put first the music has a tendency to suffer a little in terms of being catchy and not just repeating itself over and over again. I'm all for hearing a set of bagpipes leading a band and indeed they do find an occasional place here , but when that's the case right across the album and you hear them as often as I do pretty much weekly nothing sounds like it hasn't been done before.
One of the great things that has been done on Caledonia is the epic range of vocals the band uses. There are death metal growls, rough grunts, clean singing which I have to say is very well done and even chants. Most people I know like a good chant and everyone absolutely must know the song ' Miles' , and having heard Germans trying to cover a song by The Proclaimers I had previously wished that nothing of the sort would happen again.
Suidakra manage to do it pretty well though, and it's actually hard to believe that these guys are German rather than Scottish at times across this album. There are several acoustic songs included across this album, and although that sounds off-putting they all fit in very well. I'd actually be tempted to say that 'Distant Call' is the best song on Caledonia , but there are just too many good moments here to pick a favourite.
I've heard acoustic songs done well before, but Suidakra really take things to another level in that area. The drumming is interesting as well, not just generic stuff played on a constant loop but actually a lot of variation. That isn't something that you'll hear all that often from me, but this guy can actually play very well. The blast beats are present at times, but the cymbals aren't constantly crashing and the snare isn't being beaten like it deserves to die.
Every piece of the kit is used as much as the next, which is certainly more entertaining than hearing a load of smashing in the background that serves no purpose. The guitars are very varied too, more than many bands that play what is considered to be one hundred per cent melodeath. It's sad that that's the case with the world, but at least on this record things are done properly. They're heavy at the same time as well, which is a bonus.
The use of keyboards and occasionally bagpipes also strengthen the melodies and it all blends together very well. I'm not sure throwing bagpipes into the middle of one of Amon Amarth's songs would work very well, but for some reason it works in Suidakra's music. Normally I'm pretty reluctant to give out scores as high as the one I gave this, but Caledonia quite simply merits it.
I don't think I've ever heard a folk metal album that I can get into with as much ease as this one, and I thoroughly recommend this album to anyone that's interested in folk metal or melodeath. For many a promising outfit to come out of the darkness of the mid s black and death metal scenes, this sort of blizzard spells death for any hope of recovery, but thankfully the witch of C. The only remnant of their previous flop that endures here is the Scottish pipes, which were the only good thing to be heard on said album.
Acoustic passages are accented to a point that actually surpasses most of their previous endeavors, and the clean vocal sections, while still somewhat gritty and gang chorus oriented, fit in with the epic template suggested in the title of the album. The only weak spot that this album that it overcompensates slightly, perhaps the most forgivable mistake a band can make given the situation, but definitely a noticeable one here.
But its placement at the very beginning of the album lets the proverbial cat out of the bag, and leaves the listener wanting to jump back and listen again before experiencing the rest of the album. The widespread scorn heaped upon Suidakra regarding Command to Charge did a lot to set the stage going forward.
Nightfall came to join me And with it a nameless fear I ran away through woods of stone I never felt so alone Always looking behind A fear undefined But I was feeling strong as I see It's slowly coming into sight I prepared to fight With giant leaps it came upon me To chain my body To blaze a trail Through my valour To take my gods and my freedom away When eve was fallin' I was almost crawlin' - my fate was sealed Desperately I was fighting and untiringly I stroke back I stood my ground with a blackened shield Nothing would beat me Nothing would withstand my grim attack With my beckoning spear - And a blackened shield Death is all around me But at least I am free Chain my body And blaze a trail Through my valour You won't take my freedom away Then in the distance o' times tae come I saw a mon on the Hieland shore Gaitherin' troops, beatin' drums Fer freedom tae come.
Beyond us lies no nation, nothing but waves and rocks Take courage, let us prove at the first clash of arms what heroes Caledonia has been holding in reserve, the Roman army is held together by success and will be broken up by disaster! A cold wind is blowing from the shore Through glens and hills The end is near and nothing will last Take the wind and turn it to a blast Caledonia unite A cold wind is foreboding war I hear the words Which were never carved In stone, never given On solid ground - just sound I hear the words An ancient spell that Will ignite the fire of defiance Ascending voices intonate To evoke the demon Welcoming the fifth season Of the demon I see a line of fires Creeping through the land Bleeding light into the night For all that was good and glorious For all the ones that were and will be Face the incoming flood of men Ten for each pike and hand Face the enemy!
Carry me over, carry me over Into the distance, far far away Carry me over, carry me over Thinkin' back of the good old times when we heard The distant call No warm farewell, No wishings to be back soon The nights were too cold, So we dreamed of better days Better than today My eyes strayed, free Long ago on a foreign shore We heard a call as from the gale Many died in the cold embrace o' the sea On dead winds we sailed.
ON TORRID SAND Thousands of conquered lands Shining under the imperial sun We who are about to die Won't salute you and no victis honor To the fallen ones A call for encore From far away O here we stand Figures of a game on torrid sand Gird yourself for the next round of battles For the need of excitement And another glorious parade We lay here dying appealing our fate Countless are the chosen few who stood fast Concealing their fear in the great uproar of cheers when the die is cast There's a beast of cruelty creeping all over the land Nameless are the ones who were begging to live begging to save their lives In a futile dream of a noble state For only power could conquer fate All it leaves is blood and dust on the ground Storm clouds thunder in unison with the crowd A call for encore From far away Screaming for more From far away Oh here we stand Figures of a game on torrid sand Oh here we go torturing our souls On torrid sand.
Countless were the men we defeated. The vocals are shared between Marcel and Arkadius and I cannot make up my mind about the growls, at times I find the growls to be superb and in the same league of Dark Tranquillity's Stanne, but other times they sound a bit pale and powerless. The production is done in a splendid way, even though the music is full of layers the sound level of the different elements is kept well and you can hear all of the many melodies that are in the music if you listen deeply.
It is not as complex as Blind Guardian's A Night At The Opera but it is a rich sonic adventure Suidakra comes forth with, not that I am that well oriented in their earlier works but this must be the in the higher regions.
Suidakra - Caledonia Published Oct. Suidakra - Caledonia. Published Oct. Armageddon Music. Related links: www.3. THE EMBER DEID (PART II) Travail´s turn brang me tae many a place An´ all this wimplen´ way Yont the lee lang nicht Oh I mind on the days lang begane Sae the mindin´ in yer heid Unrowes afore yer een Frae hours o´ sweet yestreen Aye the ember deid in monie a heid Fare ye well I´m pertin away Aye the wind blaws our weird.