Fires of Beltain
There is an innocence about this Canadian band which is simultaneously refreshing, disturbing and risible.
From the D&D artwork, through the Battle Metal-lite music (‘Skirmish Metal’, anyone? Thought not.) to the fifth-form lyrics (‘I had cognac and sweet champagne / The choice of any girl / Hey I’m a married man / I’ll stick to these hors deouvres’ - Hangover) you get a sense of almost constant paradox. The phrase ‘this band are having serious fun’ keeps flying around - not ‘serious’ as in ‘plenty of’ but ‘serious’ as in ‘not silly’. You have the impression of a group who likes their sword n’ shoutery but then you hear Lying In The Closet, a song about child abuse. And if that’s not worrying enough, there’s a glossary of terms used in the lyrics at the back of the CD booklet. Do they seriously think their listeners need to be told what words such as ‘moors’, ‘broad’ and ‘insanity’ mean? The album’s opening track starts and ends with sampled crowd cheers. They lost me there, to be honest.