Released: 2011, AFM
I have utmost respect for this veteran band. They have an intensity of purpose and delivery that is virtually unparalleled. I don’t know why these guys are bigger. Suidakra to me is one of the really ‘cool’ bands. This is their tenth album and every album looks good. Seriously put all 10 album covers in a row and you will see what I mean, not a bad one in the bunch! Another striking visual image adorns the front of BOOK OF DOWTH. Every album sounds good too. Martin Buchwalter handles the production chores again and does a stellar job.
Suidakra (along with Cruachan and Primoridial) helped define very early on the whole pagan/folk/celtic image and sound but don’t get enough credit as say for example the Fintrolls and Korpiklaanis of the world. Maybe they are a bit too heavy for the ‘happy folk’ crowd but heaviness has never been a problem with me! Maybe because they are German, some people might suggest they lack credibility not being from Ireland but those points are irrelevant.
The album opening instrumental ‘Over Nine Waves’ has got to be the best instrumental intro to any album I’ve heard this year. It bleeds into the cut ‘Dowth 2059’ a crushingly heavy war-tune with even hints of blast-beats at one point. The intensity doesn’t let up quite yet as the band rip through ‘Battle Cairns’ About 10 minutes in we get a breather with ‘Birog’s Oath’ with a gorgeous, husky female solo vocal quickly joined by Celtic pipes and acoustic instruments before eventually blending into a more metallic attack. It’s a fine song that uses the increase in tempo very well.
Every song has great highlights I could rave about. Suidakra has a really effect uses of atmospherics, quieter interludes, Celtic influences and sounds all integrated seamlessly with raging Metal. The songs have similar arrangement with half of the tunes starting with either pipe or acoustic instrumentation, but therein lies the beauty of the bands signature sound. The album starts with the sound of waves and ends with an acoustic outro and the sounds of a fading storm which bookends the album perfectly. BOOK OF DOWTH is another victory for Suidakra one of the most consistently entertaining bands in Metal.