Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 7/28/2003
Signs for the Fallen
posted on 2/2004 By:
I’ll admit right of the get-go that Suidakra is one of my favorite bands, so objectivity is right out the window in this one. One of metal’s most consistent bands, Suidakra are long time flag bearers of the folk metal scene, and have been rewarded with a Century Media contract after languishing on minor labels for several albums. Signs for the Fallen is the band's second for CM, and after Emprise to Avalon was a marked improvement over The Arcanum, it showed big label jitters as it tried to retain Suidakra’s original feel along with the pressure of more commercial ears to please. Signs also came with many rumors of a total loss of the folk elements in favor of a pure melodic death metal approach, and while those rumors are slightly exaggerated, Suidakra have simply molded their folk elements more thoughtfully into their songs. The result is more fluid and more pure melodic death metal than any of their last albums, and Suidakra look to have finally found their sound.
The overall feel of Signs is slightly less folky than before with Marcel’s superb clean vocals containing more metal structures rather than simply purveying the albums ‘Maypole’ parts. The riffs seem far more aggressive and based on melodic death metal rather than the slightly black metal infused style of their prior efforts. The instrumentals that have long been a part of Suidakra’s repertoire seem to be less “Renn faire”; the tender “Threnody” is utterly beautiful, and the ultra short “The Ember Deid” would have been a five minute song on any prior Suidakra album. But the most striking element is Suidakra’s new found riff writing. Strong riffs permeate Signs with a vast array of entertaining moments that all still give a slight nod to all things Medieval; “Crown the Lost”, “When Eternity Echoes” Bound in Changes”, all feature strong main riffs that are catchy, driving and memorable. However, the standout song is the grand title track with its The Jester Race-ish intro and at 3:44 one of the best riffs Suidakra have ever written charges from the speakers like a mounted knight.
There is a slight change in direction away from their previous themes, mainly lyrically, as one looks at the lyrics in “Dimorphic” and “A Visions Demise”. They show a vast lean away from maidens and dragons, I imagine driven by acceptance to more mainstream community. Suidakra have matured but their music still has the persona of D&D metal, albeit 3rd Edition rules.
Signs is easily Suidakra’s most complete album, finding the band compromising their folk metal and death metal stance with solid song writing that fully involves both. The only thing nagging at the back of my mind is that Suidakra will forsake the folk element completely and much like fellow German Viking metallers Mourning Ends, change their delivery completely into a barely recognizable entity. I hope not, but Suidakra posses the skill and persistence to make whatever their chosen sound, professional and enjoyable.
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