Skyclad are often referred to as ‘The Originators of ‘Folk-Metal’ – a sub-genre of metal that mixes thrash/speed metal elements with traditional instruments and folk-style melodies – as typified by their seminal album ‘The Wayward Sons Of Mother Earth’ (1991). The band produced a string of highly acclaimed albums – ‘A Burnt Offering For The Bone Idol’ (1992), ‘Jonah’s Ark’ (1993), ‘The Prince Of The Poverty Line (1994) and ‘The Silent Whales Of Lunacy’ (1995) - and gained a reputation as a powerful and energetic live act with many European tour and festival appearances.
During the late 90’s, despite several line-up changes, the band continued to develop and experiment with their musical style - producing albums such as ‘Irrational Anthems (1996), ‘Oui Avant Garde a Chance’ (1996), ‘The Answer Machine’ (1997) and ‘Vintage Whine’ (1999) – they even undertook several ‘unplugged’ tours across Europe alongside appearances at festivals such as Wacken Open Air (1998) and ‘The Gods Of Metal’ (1999) before returning with a more ‘metal’ album, ‘Folkemon’ in 2000.
Whilst Folkemon proved to be the last album for founder member and vocalist Martin Walkyier, the band decided to continue and released the ‘Swords of a Thousand Men’ single (featuring ‘Eddie Tenpole’ himself) and the ‘unplugged’ album ‘No Daylights Nor Heeltaps’ in 2002. A new studio album ‘A Semblance Of Normality’ followed in 2004; which, as well as having all the usual folk instruments and influences, also featured the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and was well received by both fans and media worldwide.
‘Semblance’ marked the start of an exciting new chapter for Skyclad, who, while continuing to play in strongholds such as Germany, also made successful appearances in new territories such as Sweden, the Czech Republic (‘Rock Café, Prague, 2005), Finland. All this live work culminated in a full European Tour in 2006, which took in ten countries, along with the release of the ‘Jig-A-Jig’ EP, which the band produced themselves as a special ‘one-off’ release for the tour.
As well as continuing to play gigs and festivals across Europe (even reaching Moscow in 2007), Skyclad released their twelfth studio album entitled ‘In The…All Together’ in 2009. Unlike ‘Semblance’ however, this album was recorded completely by the band members – there are no ‘guests’ or orchestras. This was a deliberate move to try and keep the recordings as ‘live and fresh’ as possible and one aimed at taking the band into the studio ‘all together’. This wasn’t exactly a ‘back to basics’ strategy, as the songs on this album are far from basic as the band continued to experiment with their songwriting.
‘In The… All Together’ was released by Italian label Scarlet and the band promoted the album with European tours in 2009 and 2010 as well as festival appearances including Dong Open Air, Germany, (2009, 2010 & 2013), ‘Pounding Metal’, Germany (2009), Sweden Rock (2010), Metieval festival, UK (2011), ‘Up The Hammers’ festival, Greece (2012), Ragnarok festival, Germany (2012), and Metal Fest, Spain (2012).
Skyclad began working on songs for the 13th studio album in 2013 but recently managed to fit in dates in Germany, the Netherlands and Greece and they appeared at Metal Assault, Germany (2014).
Skyclad are extremely happy to be making a return to Bloodstock in 2014. It’s been quite some time since Skyclad appeared at the first ever Bloodstock at the Derby Assembly Rooms back in 2001, so it will be great to get a ‘Jig-Pit’ going and unleash some Folk-Metal in the UK at B.O.A. 2014.