Celtic metallers from Düsseldorf, SUIDAKRA, have just released new David Thelen-directed video ‘Balor’, a tune taken from their 2011 AFM Records-released album ‘Book Of Dowth’ (“book of darkness”). The album, which chronicles the mythology of a mysterious race of demonic beings known as the “Fomor”, was recorded at Gernhart Studios with Martin Buchwalter. The album's artwork was created by Belgian artist Kris Verwimp.
“ ‘Book Of Dowth’ is going to be too musical and too melodic for extreme metal purists. At the same time, no one should expect ‘Book Of Dowth’ to sound like an album by CAPERCAILLIE, ALTAN, or any other band that is well known in the Celtic market. No, ‘Book Of Dowth’ is mainly for moshers and headbangers, albeit moshers and headbangers who like their metal on the melodic side and have some appreciation of world music. ‘Book Of Dowth’ demonstrates that SUIDAKRA are still quite capable of excellence after all these years,” [commented the ‘Book Of Dowth’ AllMusic's Alex Henderson – more here]
SUIDAKRA (founding member guitarist and vocalist Arkadius Antonik's first name spelled backwards) formed in 1994 and recorded a couple of demos before self-releasing their debut album ‘Lupine Essence’ in 1997. Their second full-length, 1998's ‘Auld Lang Syne’, was published by German record label Last Episode Productions, as were the consequent albums 1999's ‘Lays From Afar’ and 2000's ‘The Arckanum’. In 2001, SUIDAKRA signed with Century Media and released ‘Emprise To Avalon’ the following year. 2003's release, ‘Signs Of The Fallen’ was followed by the group's seventh album 2005's ‘Command To Charge’ (Armageddon Music):
“Prior to ‘Command To Charge’, SUIDAKRA were German metal's answer to ‘Songs From The Wood’-era Jethro Tull, blending headbanging riffs with gentle, largely acoustic folk tunes. That side of the band isn’t entirely absent from ‘Command To Charge’: the Celtic-influenced ‘A Runic Rhyme’ and the splashy instrumental ‘Dead Man's Reel’ are entirely in keeping with SUIDAKRA's old sound, and there’s even a 30-second interlude played on bagpipes!” [was caught by surprise Stewart Mason, AllMusic – more here]
Those bagpipes were featured even more prominently on SUIDAKRA's next record, 2006's ‘Caledonia’. Feeling inspired, the band introduced a sixteen-member choir, a tin whistle and a banjo next to the traditional bagpipes on 2009's ‘Crógacht’ (SPV Records), the album which re-told the Irish folktale “Aided Óenfhir Aífe”:
“Although ‘Crógacht’s overtly Celtic outlook is something that most of the Nordic folk metal recordings lack, a FINNTROLL or KORPIKLAANI fan should have no problem getting into this excellent 2009 release - and the fact that Scandinavian folk and Celtic folk have a lot of common ground explains why,” [read and learn, courtesy of Alex Henderson, AllMusic] “When Nordic Vikings invaded the British Isles many centuries ago, they left their mark musically; therefore, if one plays traditional folk recordings from Sweden, Norway or Finland alongside traditional folk recordings from Ireland or Scotland, one can hear the similarities. And it stands to reason that if a band is interested in extreme metal and Celtic folk, the results aren’t going to be radically different from the work of Scandinavian bands that are interested in extreme metal and Scandinavian folk,” [find more wisdom here]
SUIDAKRA features: Arkadius Antonik – guitar and vocals, Marcus Riewaldt – bass and Lars Wehner – drums