Skogen – Skuggorna Kallar (Folk/Black Metal)

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Skogen. It doesn’t only mean forest in Swedish but is also the name of one of Swedens top tier black metal bands. They have released nothing but great albums in my opinion and I’ve been looking forward to review this for a long time. Their latest album has taken the name from the second track on the bands debut Vittra, namely Skuggorna Kallar. One thing that has make Skogen stand out for me is the fact they keep on growing and with each release they improve their sound that eventually lead to one of the best albums of 2014 I döden to be unleashed to this world.

I have to be honest my initial listen to Skuggorna Kallar left me disappointed. It started off so well with “Det nordiska mörkret” which is great atmospheric black metal with folk influences, something I like when Skogen dabble with and they do so more than ever on this album bringing them closer to Primordial than ever before. Then coming into “När solen bleknar bort” we have one of the most crushing Skogen tracks ever released, a song that will be with me for many many years to come. “Nebula” is black folk metal perfection in many ways, whereas “Omen” and “Frostland” are classic Skogen sound and these five tracks contains just about everything I hoped for the album, but then it loses me. From a captivating first half and superb Skogen metal I find the change to English vocals and a more doom approach on “The Sun’s Blood” and onwards being far less appealing to my ears. Sadly that brings the score down a bit from an otherwise great album.

I do find this release to be weaker than their previous ones and a bit of a letdown but Skuggorna Kallar gives Skogen fans yet another good album. It lacks the consistency the older albums have had to me but at the same time containing some of the bands best singles to date.

Label: Nordvis Produktion
For fans of: Borknagar and Primordial
Release date: May 25th, 2018
Favorite song: När solen bleknar bort
Score: 3/5

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Solbrud – Vemod (Atmospheric Black Metal)

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Solbrud is to me one of the best bands from Denmark. I’d never heard of them until two years ago when they played at Copenhell and a friend of mine said that was one of the bands he wanted to see live. I didn’t go and see them but after my friend said they were fucking beasting it live I was like “man I need to listen to these dudes when I get home”. So I did, I listened through their selftitled debut and sophomore album Jærtegn and since then I’ve been hooked. Even today I wish I went to see Solbrud live on their home turf….

Vemod is the bands third full-length release and the music stays the same, in a good way. This is just as dark melancholic yet beautiful as I remember their past work. Four songs clocking at 50 minutes filled with death and harmony. Black metal goodness for the blackest of souls.

Every note, songwriting, atmosphere and production is well made and it’s close to call this their best work yet. As of right now I am thorn between this and Jærtegn but I do give Jærtegn the edge because I think Sortedøden is the best song Solbrud have done so far. Also I think Besat af Mørke was a bit weaker than the other three songs on this album. Safe to say Solbrud have already created a discography they can be proud of with three fantastic full-length albums. I am sure I will see Vemod on many black metal fans lists when they look back at this years top releases.

Vemod is out now through Indisciplinarian.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Solbrud
Label: Indisciplinarian
For fans of: Mörker and Skogen
Favorite song: Det Sidste Lys
Score: 4/5

Stilla – Skuggflock (Black Metal)

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Oh how happy I was that Stilla’s third studio album got released today, this being my first release day review for an album. Being a quite new band, formed in 2011, from my home county Skåne I’ve followed these guys for awhile now. Skuggflock is another chapter in Stilla’s book that keeps their songwriting theme of nature and death which has a very atmospheric feeling throughout the whole album.

Stilla sings solely in Swedish but even if you don’t understand the language the atmosphere will reel you in wanting more. A very pleasant listening that takes you on a cold autumn journey in the Swedish wilderness of death and despair.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tillstilla
For fans of: Dråpsnatt and Grift
Best song: Av Maran riden
Score: 8/10