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(C) 1999 Massacre Records

Lineup:
Martin Walkyier: Voice
Steve Ramsey: Guitar, backing vocals
Graeme English: Bass guitar, acoustic guitar
George Biddle: Fiddle, keyboard, piano
Kevin Ridley: Guitar, backing vocals
Jay Graham: Drums, trumpet, backing vocals

Track listing:

In this 1999 instalment of the Skyclad epic, singer and lyricist Martin Walkyier discusses personal emotions and feelings - of love, hate, jealousy and resentment. This personal, almost confiding tone in some of the lyrics produce some of the most touching Skyclad songs to date. Cleverly constructed, each song has something to reveal even after a number of listenings.

The music of Skyclad is a hard-driving English folk metal that compels to tap one's foot and smile at some of the more frivolous melodies. Two electric guitars providing enough crunch for any metal band, the fiddle melodies come out crisp and clear, and when joined by guitar leads are extremely gratifying to listen to. Aside from the instrumentals, each song provides excellent chances to sing along with the choruses, which are often quite excellent.

However, the singer Martin Walkyier once again almost steals the show with his lyrics. Skyclad is, above all, a forum for Martin's productions, but there are some cases where the music (which is in itself quite wonderful) is shadowed by Walkyier's lyrics. However, these lapses are mostly forgotten in the refrains that are extremely catchy, witty and fun. Indeed, the listener is often amused by the tongue-twisters and adaptations of common phrases used by Martin to further his own end - as in the outrageous "On With Their Heads!", which is a proclamation of "King Martin the First." In addition, Martin uses homophones extensively to his advantage, as, for example, with the title track - "Vintage Whine".

Vintage whine is a record well worth checking out if Skyclad is not familiar as a band, and folkish melodies coupled with heavy metal don't repel you away.

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