Eternal Defiance
(AFM Records)

Suidakra is back again, after their return to form on 2011’s Book Of Dowth. But this time they’ve decided to take on a concept album based on the ancient Welsh tale,

The Dream of Macsen Wledig which injects the band’s Celtic take on At The Gates and Dark Tranquility styled melodic death metal with elements of movie-soundtrack orchestration as featured in the album’s opening intro “Storming The Walls.” The disc certainly has its heavy moments like “Inner Sanctum” and “Rage For Revenge” but you’ll also have to deal with some acoustic numbers that sort of set off the balance, like the female vocal ballad “The Mindsong” and album closer “Damnatio Memoriae.” Though some people really like this stuff and I’ll admit that I found the melodies interesting, I’d really rather hear something more upbeat and relentless in place of these slower pieces. But if you’re afraid that they’ve left all of the folk instruments behind in favor of a much grander scheme, then you can leave your worries behind and revel in “Pair Dadeni” and “March Of Conquest” which feature bagpipes intact. Because what’s Celtic metal without the bagpipes? Yes, while it is true that “Beneath The Red Eagle” suffers from too much pomp and bonus cut “Mrs. McGrath” just doesn’t seem to fit along with the rest of the package despite the fact that it is a classic, (in every sense of the word, as it goes back hundreds of years) the majority of this record sees the band primed and ready to do battle. It’s rough, hard edged and as sharp as any blade that a warrior might pull out of a scabbard. Armed with loads of melodies, thunderous drums and Arkadius’s scathing vocals, this is Suidakra just as we’d like to hear them. The band has made a few missteps along their journey, but I can thankfully say that this effort is not one of them and should accompany hordes of MMO characters to battle for many years to come. The limited edition digipack version of this disc also comes with a comic book, so be sure to jump on that if you want to read it.
(Eric May) 

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