posted on 3/2009 By:
With last year's best of/collection 13 Years of Celtic Wartunes, not only did Germany’s Suidakra put themselves back on my personal radar, they cemented the fact that they are one of folk metal’s most consistent (Command to Charge not withstanding) yet underrated acts. Even without Marcel Schoenen, Arkadius and co. have managed to craft an album that compares favorably to the band's back catalog as far as Celtic inspired melodic death metal is concerned.
Even now as a three piece, Suidakra are essentially the same band you heard on Caledonia (which Schoenen helped with despite having left the band), with Crogacht (meaning 'Bravery') and its delivery of Celtic myth, The Death Of Aoife's Only Son, which is essentially the popular legend of the warrior Cuchulainn. As with Caledonia, there are plenty of rousing, galloping melodic death metal riffs, tinged with Celtic gloss and the tracks are all littered with well placed synths, bagpipes and Arkadius’s clean chants, which actually replace Schoenen’s distinct voice rather well; which was one of my main concerns.
As with all of Suidakra’s albums the key here is consistency - there’s no absolutely stunning, blow you away tracks, just a collection of really good, enjoyable tracks that fit side by side with the likes of “The IXth Legion,” “Wartunes” and such. “Isle of Skye” (a sure fire live hit on the band's current Pagan Knights tour), “Scáthach,” “Shattering Swords,” “Gilded Oars” and epic closer "Baile's Strand" are all tracks that should easily find their way onto future best of… collections should the band continue their long and consistent run. As with all the band’s albums, there are a handful of instrumentals to help carry the Celtic vibe and “Slán” and “Ár Nasc Fola” fit the bill perfectly and the very enjoyable female sung jig, “Feats of War” is just downright catchy.
I was a bit leery of Crogacht considering how important Schoenen has been to the band's sound, but Arkadius has shown that he can soldier on regardless of lineup and deliver top notch albums 14 years later. It's seriously time that people started mentioning Suidakra as one of folk metal's very best and most consistent bands, and I can't wait to see them live on the Pagan Knights tour. (God, I hope they have a live bagpipe player...)
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