Suidakra - Auld Lang Syne
Last Episode
Melodic Death/Folk Metal
10 songs (38:40)
Release year: 1998
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

As the days grow shorter and cold sets in here in upstate New York, I find myself drawn to music that reminds me of the fall and winter seasons. Suidakra is another one of the great bands I discovered whose melding of death metal with folk elements, not to mention plenty of melody, I really enjoy. Among my favorites by this band is their second album Auld Lang Syne, released in 1998. While the production here is not nearly the best, the songwriting and technical abilities of this band still shine through and capture my attention with plenty of atmosphere and memorable compositions.

The intro to the album is very calm and Celtic-feeling, letting you know that this will indeed be a folk metal album, getting a bit more foreboding towards the middle with a choir and many different folk instruments coming in. Hall Of Tales begins with epic-sounding guitars backed with symphonic elements. The production gets a little muddy when the heaviest drums come in, but it's not too bad. The growls of frontman Arkadius Antonik can also take on a subdued quality because of this, but fortunately the atmosphere created by this song is not lost. It sounds to me like a tribe of warriors riding into battle. A Menhir's Clay continues with a quick, melodic guitar lead. It's the second song to incorporate a lot of melody. The fast, melodic guitar solo also, sounds great on this song. Definitely one of the most memorable tracks from this album. The album just keeps going with plenty more appealing guitar work on Another Cist Looms. While using a lot of upbeat melody, there are also some more melancholy, colder parts of this tale such as The Fall Of Tarra. The production throughout this album, while not great, often gives the guitars a cold, mournful tone that goes great with the style of solos and leads that they play. This probably contributes to my association of this album with autumn and cold weather. These guys more than likely took some cues from early stars in the melodeath arena like At The Gates and In Flames, but the result is something unique and very listenable. The foreboding synths and melodic guitar work that begins the second to last track, Enticing Slumber, is really great and definitely reminds me of these early bands. This is a mostly an instrumental track that incorporates a lot of calmer melodic guitar work, but also contains some more aggressive riffs, changing tempo from time to time to keep the music flowing. It's a good, long song that keeps me interested and rounds the album out nicely.

This to me is an album that should not be forgotten by those who enjoy early melodic death and folk/Viking metal. While Suidakra would go on to write material that started to modernize their sound, leaving behind the pure death metal vocals and some of the folk elements, this is where they started. The production is not the best, but it is not bad enough to interfere with the overall sounds and excellent songwriting on this album. Those who enjoy older symphonic and folk metal such as Therion (think Deggial) and early Ensiferum should be ashamed if they haven't heard this many times already. For those looking to get into the genre or the band, this is a great place to start.

Killing Songs :
A Menhir’s Clay, And Another Cist Looms, Tuatha De Danaan, Enticing Slumber
Khelek quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Suidakra that we have reviewed:
Suidakra - Book of Dowth reviewed by Jaime and quoted 77 / 100
Suidakra - Crogacht reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Suidakra - Signs for the Fallen reviewed by Jay and quoted 85 / 100
Suidakra - Emprise To Avalon reviewed by Chris and quoted 90 / 100
Suidakra - The Arcanum reviewed by Chris and quoted 94 / 100
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