SKOGEN – Skuggorna Kallar
The blackened folk metal outfit known as Skogen released this splendid eight-track effort of theirs via the ever-reliable Nordvis Produktion a couple of days ago and if heartfelt and passionate music with strong rural and pastoral qualities to it appeals to you then you had better pay attention to this one and pick up a copy of it as soon as fucking possible.
Melancholy atmospheres with an ancient yet timeless quality to them, folky black metal riffs, chants and clean vocals mixed with gritty and deep-seated black metal rasps, haunting melodies possessing hypnotic vibes, and a superb use of both acoustic guitars and keyboards are the order of the day here. Everything flows together seamlessly and it all sounds so natural, cohesive, and coherent that one can do nothing but applaud these guys for doing such a commendable job here. "Skuggorna Kallar" has a warm, organic, and raw tone and aura to it, and there is absolutely no shortage of depth, power, and substance anywhere in sight. This is the kind of stuff that speaks to the heart rather than the mind in that there is nothing complex or convoluted to "Skuggarna Kallar". Rather, it is mysterious and full of wonder yet dark and foreboding too, which is to say that there are some interesting contrasts in play throughout the album. The majestic "Beneath the Trees" is the perfect example of just that. Actually, the same goes for the monumental album closer, namely the epic and morose "The Funeral".
This record is a journey to the past as well as an exploration of the power of nature and longing that is well worth embarking on should you find yourself in the mood for an enchanting soundtrack.