HARMDAUD – Skärvor
Swedish outfit Harmdaud, which is essentially a one-man band spearheaded by skilled mastermind Andreas Stenlund (ex-Vintersorg), dabbles in atmospheric black metal that is as epic and aggressive as it is melodic and varied. The songs are all layered affairs and at times rather dense, but they never veer off track and the focus is always on those gorgeous melodies and what works for the tune in question. Despite some clever twists and turns, the compositions are relatively catchy and pieces such as the fast-paced “Bränt till Grund” and the raging “Sprickorna i Verkligheten” instantly draw the listener in.
A lot of thought obviously went into the creation of this moody record judging by the strong arrangements and all the subtle nuances contained within the song material. Keyboards make an appearance too, but they are used tastefully and add a bit of color to the proceedings. The vocals were also a nice surprise as they are quite dynamic, but the musicianship is solid all around, which says something about Stenlund’s musical talents. Either way, all is well in that department. I do wish that the production had been a tad beefier with more low-end to it and thereby packed more punch, which in turn would have made “Skärvor” even more powerful and bombastic, but it is far from bad, mind you.
If melodic and/or atmospheric black metal with a sense of grandeur to it is your thing, make sure you immerse yourself in this cool opus some time. It is well worth it. For a teaser, check the track named “Kraft” out, but keep in mind that the album is solid all the way through and that none of the songs are lackluster.