Vera : With Suidakra we are always assured of a firm portion raucous black/death metal, regaled with Celtic folk influences. We have to mention right away that these are no followers of the current pagan metal boom, but trendsetters with genuine intentions from the very start in 1997. This eleventh studio album 'Eternal Defiance' once again offers an amazing amalgamation of brutality with refined ornaments. But there is more, since Suidakra always broadens its horizon within its own musical spectrum. The new element happens to be the addition of orchestration. Fortunately the band does not loose its heaviness and we can put this along the lines of the most recent Ex Deo album 'Caligvla' or the way how Christos Antoniou adds more grandeur to the oeuvre of Septicflesh.
After the release of 'Book Of Dowth' in 2011, Suidakra roamed the entire globe, even China and India were conquered and on top of that band leader Arkadius had to face any line-up changes in his horde in 2012. Guitarist Tim Siebrecht took over bass duties and new guitar player Marius 'Jussi' Pesch appears to contribute to clean vocals as well. Conversant are the recording sessions at the Gernhart Studios with Martin Buchwalter, vocal assistance of Tina Stabel and the presence of bagpiper Axel Römer. The latter ones even contributed to the writing process this time. Another constant factor is the presence of Kris Verwimp. He has written the lyrics again, inspired by a mythological story from Wales, called 'The Dream of Macsen Wledig' and he regaled this album with exceptional illustrations. He did not only create the cover artwork, but the digipak is served with a proper comic book.
The album starts with cinematic bombast, where medieval sceneries pass before our very eyes. The instrumental 'Storming The Walls' includes sounds of nature and slaughtering, before Arkarius and his mates cut loose in 'Inner Sanctum'. This tempestuous temperament is relished with male clean vocals and a female touch of Tina Stabel in 'Beneath The Red Eagle'. We have written it earlier: this is no gothic chanteuse with soprano flavour, but a female singer with balls. 'March Of Conquest' holds on to a rough storytelling style with folk hymns in the chorus, while bagpipes enter the scene during 'Pair Dadeni', one of the highlights of the album. This is also due to the blend of guitars and bagpipes in vortex soloing and a galloping catchiness in the rhythms. Then the time has come for a melancholic song 'The Mindsong', sung by Tina, with acoustic guitars and piano. This has the nearest approach to Blackmore's Night! Naturally it is followed by the ultimate scream-like and ferocious 'Rage For Revenge' with pompous orchestral intermezzo and beautiful guitar solo. Another highlight happens to be 'Dragon's Head' that smoothly goes into crescendo unto a mid-paced stunner, with the sound of crows and semi-acoustic centrepiece on banjo. This is really an amazing track that fades out with a spoken occlusion with low-pitched voice. 'Defiant Dreams' finds a proper balance between raucousness and clean bard's chants and last track 'Damnatio Memoriae' starts instrumental and calm, but goes through clean male vocals into a wealthy orchestral end. Suidakra has created a stunner that easily surpasses its predecessor. Congratulations!