By Lauren Leuschner
Suidakra is one of those bands that hardly anyone seems to know about, yet they rank amongst the best of their genre. During their fourteen year career they have been on several successful European and Russian tours, as well as two North American ones. Suidakra has managed to take stage at Wacken Open Air in their homeland of Germany more than once; this year they will take stage again on the Friday of the festival on the W.E.T Stage.
Suidakra’s tenth full length studio album Book of Dowth, released recently by new label AFM Records, offers another Celtic story for fans to digest. It was inspired by the dark side of Celtic lore. It tells the tale of the uncovering of an ancient book found in a Celtic grave called “Dowth” (a Neolithic passage tomb in the Boyne Valley, Ireland). The second track, entitled “Dowth 2059” begins the tale of an esoteric and ancient race of evil souls called Fomorians. As the album continues, the untold story of a historic legacy that once took breath is unveiled, until we jump back to present time where the Fomorians are unleashed and destroy the human race. However, in reading a recent interview with lead vocalist Arkadius Antonik he only reveals it to be “a short summary, because the whole concept is much more detailed and complex.”
The current trio of Suidakra continue their tradition of breakneck melodic death metal that is drenched with folk influences, a sound that the band has associated with for the past fourteen years. You can certainly anticipate their driving force of killer guitar riffs, headbanging melodies and a tightly wrapped rhythm section. Once again Suidakra includes an incredible array of folk instruments; in the past they have also used bagpipes, banjo and tin whistle. Lead vocalist Arkadius Antonik handles all kinds of exceptional vocals from clean to growls, while guest female vocalist Tina Stabel again provides her incredible voice on the fifth track “Mag Mell”. Suidakra found a unique sound that I don’t think they will ever abandon.
The digipack edition of the album also allows fans to rediscover previous works with classical re-arranged versions of “Rise of Taliesin” [off 2000’s The Arcanum] and “When Eternity Echoes” [originally recorded for 2003’s Sign for the Fallen]. Book of Dowth is a solid uniform testament of folk influenced melodic death metal for fans to feast upon.