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Scald - Will of the Gods Is Great Power Award winner

Will of the Gods Is Great Power
by Martin Knap at 19 November 2018, 5:10 AM

One look at the logo with the inverted cross – interestingly placed on top of the “o” – and the cover art, you might come to suspect that SCALD are a Pagan Metal band. Add to it the grandiose album title and the word “Gods” in it and you can´t have any doubts. SCALD were a Russian band from a provincial town Yaroslavi, located not far away from Moscow. The band quit after the untimely death of the singer Maxim "Agyl" Andrianov, who died in a train accident.

First of all, let me say how glad I am that “Will of the Gods Is Great Power” got re-released. It is an absolute blast from the past and I´m baffled that SCALD isn´t better known. Of course the fact that they only released one album must have contributed to this, another reason might be that this style of metal wasn´t the most fashionable one in 1996 and onwards up to 2015 or so, when Doom Metal became really popular. But I suspect that it has also to do with the geography of their origin – I can´t believe that this band would become obscure had they been form Sweden or Norway. Thanks to the fact that Doom Metal has its moment in the recent years albums like these get unearthed and newly appreciated by broader audiences, and I´m glad that I jumped on the opportunity and reviewed this release. (Some of the hip Doom sites haven´t got any articles or reviews yet – I wonder how come they didn´t jump on this immediately.)

SCALD play Epic Doom Metal that has the enthralling atmosphere of BATHORY and the heft of traditional Doom; we can even hear some nasty HELLHAMMER riffs in certain parts. The heavy, yet melodic riffs and the use of synths make their music sound absolutely huge – think of that epic vibe that a BATHORY song like “One Road To Asa Bay” has. The songs are long and plodding – as is expected from a Doom Metal record – but the emotional charge that the music has makes it hypnotic rather than monotonous. Except for “Tumulus” the songs are sorrowful, with soaring vocal melodies and beautiful guitar leads. The aforesaid song has a bit more joyful tone and shows the more of the folky side of the bands. What stands out beside the stellar guitar playing are Agyl’s vocals. He has an incredible range and really can hit those high notes, as he does out of the blue during a guitar solo in “Night Sky”. The re-issue comes with four bonus tracks, some of them are live recordings of songs that don’t appear on the album.

SCALD’s music oozes with a primordial energy that absorbs the listener. It’s a shame that this album fell into obscurity and I hope that the re-release will change it. The production could be better (the drums and the bass are a bit drowned out), but it still is good enough for an immersive experience. Calling “Will of the Gods Is Great Power” a cult classic is no exaggeration in my mind.

Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 8

5 Star Rating

1. Night Sky
2. Sepulchral Bonfire
3. Eternal Stone
4. Ragnaradi Eve
5. Tumulus
6. In the Open Sea
7. Blacksmith of War (Live 93")
8. Valhalla's Flame (Rehearsal 93")
9. Sepulchral Bonfire (Rehearsal 93")
10. Sepulchral Bonfire (Demo 95")
Agyl – Vocals
Harald – Guitars
Karry – Guitars, Keyboards
Velingor – Bass
Ottar – Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Ordo MCM


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Edited 03 June 2020

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