FFO: Månegarm, Skyclad, Equilibrium, Moonsorrow, Finntroll
Fans of folk/metal will blink in disbelief that 23 years have elapsed since Suidakra released their debut album ‘Lupine Essence’. In celebration of this, the German band are giving the album the re-release treatment so that the wider world can listen to the debut album once again and witness one of the first German bands to meld folk and metal together.
Considering that the band were not much more than kids when this album was written and recorded, the songs have stood up remarkably well and shows the real potential that Suidakra had. Tracks such as ‘Sheltering Dreams’, ‘Dragon Tribe’ and ‘Havoc’ are just as memorable now as they were in 1997 with sweeping melodic passages juxtaposed by harsh black metal style vocals that may even be classed as influential. Yet, anyone who knows this album already knows this, so what more can ‘Lupine Essence’ offer? Well, the listener gets a fantastic sonic remaster with the sound cleaned up considerably allowing each instrument and quip to be heard crisply. Furthermore, ‘Lupine Essence’ offers re-recordings of a number of tracks that show how the band have grown and interpret their own work over two decades later.
It is good to have ‘Lupine Essence’ available once again, not only does it show a band at their most primordial, but it shows just how pioneering Suidakra are in the European folk/metal scene and this album finally gives them the chance to be appreciated for what they are.