The Clan Destined - In The Big Ending CD
The music of Martin Walkyier, especially through Skyclad, often made me think a lot. It made me think of my rights, and the wrong of the powers that be. It often made me consider the pagan Gods. The Clan Destined still makes me think of the first two (maybe more than I ever have) but no longer the latter, and the only reason for that is that Walkyier simply must be a pagan God himself. Whereas his mesmerizing words and bewildering songcraft in Sabbat and then moreso Skyclad made me think about the way I'm living my life and the way the world is going (a philosophy born of punk and pagan), his new project the Clan Destined stops me considering it at all. That's because now, through the power of genius philosophy, mighty wordplay and awe-inspiring music I am completely convinced that everything he says is right, and was written specifically for me, there is no shadow of a doubt - the man is a genius.
There is a man travelling alone on overgrown, unexplored paths. He knows not what he is searching for, but he knows that it needs to be found. And after countless days, something is spotted in the bushes, something sparkling in it's own way. It's a relic the world has never seen before, and inside it is a power that unlocks the man's soul and releases all the mysteries hidden in his mind that he never before understood. This was made exactly for him, by the Gods, it simply would not have the same effect on anybody else. It would be nothing more than a treasure, a trophy. Something to just sit there and look nice on a shelf. It was made specifically for this one man. That man was me. I hate to say it, but I don't think that anybody will ever really experience the magick of this. That's probably an exaggeration, infact I know it is, because the music contained herein is pure gold, but it feels as though this recording (demo, EP, whatever it was intended to be) was created for me and for me only.
This music is actually pretty simple. It's fairly modern sounding heavy metal, a little thrashy, a little punky. It's very direct (as Walkyier's music always is), very straight-forward and to the point, very powerful. As far as music constructed in that sort of 'pop' manner (by that I mean in the verse-chorus way, not the MTV way) this has to be the very best music ever possibly created. That style of simple heavy metal has to be direct, and this is as direct as could possibly be. It achieves what it sets out to do 110%. It comes, states it's message, leaves it's mark and then leaves. It isn't the heaviest album ever, but it IS the most powerful for those very reasons. The riffs, the vocal melodies and the general construction has more impact than any piece of music I have ever heard before. Funnily enough, there's a line in the song 'A Beautiful Start to the End of the World' which unintentionally describes this better than I ever could - "No bombshell has hit with this impact before!" Walkyier's perfect use of the English language perfectly sums up exactly how brilliant this album is. Listen to the chorus of 'More Than War', or the ending verse of 'Swing Like Judas' or every single syllable of 'A Beautiful Start to the End of the World' and tell me there is other songs constructed in such simple manner than have a stronger affect than those. It's often disputed over whether the music was written by Iscariah or Walkyrier, who had fallen out before Martin went and recorded the album, but it feels to me as though they both contributed. There a distinct Walkyrier vibe about the album - as already mentioned, the directness, aswell as the actual recording and general atmosphere (and of course the lyrics, which we'll come to later). I do believe that Iscariah wrote the biggest bulk of the music, and it's a shame and a sin that he isn't noticed as a brilliant songwriter and is more remembered as jsut a face behind a bass in numerous Nordic black and death metal bands. Although this feels like it has the mark of Walkyrier to me, Iscariah's input in this should not be understated. The whole band was formed of free thinkers, and it seems that the delivery of Walkyrier (vocally aswell, his commanding, powerful voice never fails to deliver) aswell as his lyrics combined with the powerful riffmachine Iscariah was truly a match made in Valhalla.
But of course, the one thing we haven't yet reached is the lyrics, and as with everything Walkyier the mastermind even breathes upon, the quality of the album is nearly doubled by the lyrical content and genius use of wordplay. 'Swing Like Judas', 'More Than War', 'A Beautiful Start...', all sown together perfectly with some of the most magnificent poetry ever written. 'Devil for a Day' is possibly my favourite of the bunch (which is basically sung to a lover about looking forward to going to Hell when we die, to be together in torture and damnation forever..."there's a part of me which hopes the christians got it right, that God is real and Hell exists where sinners burn/'cause then I know we'll meet again upon some flamelit starless night, chained side-by-side to stand in line and wait our turn"). 'I Am Because We Are' basically documents all of Walkier's philosophy and ideas behind 'The Clan Destined' (the title of which I'm considering having tattooed across my chest).