Survival Records SURCD 029; 51 minutes; 2003
Advertisements accompanying the release of 13 Dreams boldly boast that Skilda is ‘taking Celtic music further’. On this evidence, Skilda certainly has, producing arguably the least inventive and most mind-numbingly awful album of 2003 and, in the process, providing the kind of fodder much beloved by lazy World Music radio show producers and the compilers of the muzak played in the bars of exorbitantly priced Dublin city centre hotels.
Drawing heavily from just about everybody, from Faithless to the Afro Celts and Metallica to Sin É, while lacking any originality of its own, 13 Dreams blends leaden beats, lacklustre vocals and heavily clichéd samples with walls of sound almost collapsing under the weight of their sheer pomposity. Moreover, singer Naia Wolf should be indicted for song crimes, murdering, for instance, The Flower of Finae by substituting stage-Oirish tremolo for expressive emotion (to hear how it should be done listen to Niamh Parsons on her Blackbirds and Thrushes album).
Let’s face it, any band which subtitles a tune ‘Cosmic reel’ deserves to take ‘Celtic music further’ and preferably to the environs of Ursa Major.
This review by Geoff Wallis originally appeared in Songlines - www.songlines.co.uk/.