Skiltron – Bruadarach (Trollzorn Records)Wednesday, 6th December 2023
Certain circumstances necessitate key decisions for future growth – especially when it comes to establishing a foothold internationally in music. Case in point – Skiltron. Arising in Argentina in the 2000’s, they would relocate to Finland, switch out members, also becoming the first band from Argentina to play the infamous Wacken Open Air festival. Independently releasing their first three albums, they’ve been a part of the Trollzorn Records roster since their fifth studio record Legacy of Blood in 2016. Seven years later we have the follow-up for Bruadarach – as the quintet infuses power metal with obvious Celtic/folk textures throughout these eight main tracks plus three interlude/instrumental cuts.
Pierre Delaporte is delightful with his great highland bagpipes and tin-whistle supremacy – knowing throughout these tracks where to go full force on proper Celtic runs that easily cement themselves into the brain on first (through subsequent) playbacks. Check out his supreme tactful ways on the instrumental “Turadh” on through to his interplay next to the charging double kick / power metal rhythm guitar foundation for “Rob Roy” – offering that additional hook support that will engage followers when airing these cuts live. Thankfully the organic nature to the tones and production gives the material a bit more warmth – incorporating aspects of older Blind Guardian for “As We Fight” just as easily as the militant march components of say a Scottish-oriented Sabaton during the 6:26 “Proud to Defend”, although vocally Paolo Ribaldini possesses a bit more of a comforting, bard-like lilt to his delivery. The symbiotic relationship between classic power metal and folk/Celtic styles is evident throughout – even when going in more of a straightforward anthem direction for “I Am What I Am”, the uplifting lyrical content sure to touch many who yearn to ‘fight for what they want’.
Skiltron exemplifies a musical movement that aims to entertain, taking the listener in all senses to another world, centuries behind, where you can dance the jig, holding a flame torch high, drinking your favorite mead to soothe your soul. Through Bruadarach you’ll get a solid sample of the creative output plus sonic infusion applied, in the end equally enthralling to hopefully garner more people into their coven.