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Skogen - Skuggorna Kallar Award winner

Skuggorna Kallar
by Tatianny Ruiz at 02 June 2018, 4:04 AM

This is a line of sonority that I simply love nowadays, perhaps because I'm in the Nordic lands and have absorbed it so deeply the variants between the black lines of melting metal with folk and surrounding atmospheres sound to me as natural as any other and that's exactly what I feel when I listen to the new Skuggorna Kallar album by the Swedish band Skogen, released by Nordvis Produktion on May 25, 2018.

With a simplistic cover art and indications for progressive Black Metal I started the album in "Det Nordiska Mörkret" and it does not take more than a minute of hearing to know that my ears like this dark environment and at the same time reflective that the quieter lines paired with melancholy riffs, and between clean and grunting vocals, can do, maybe it's my connection to the Scandinavian forests, or just so sound with a different sadness and at the same time make you think a little more. All the instrumentation is simplistic but maintaining the language and atmosphere that surrounds the melody creates in itself a perfect balance.

And if on the one hand the first track makes you reflect on "När Solen Bleknar Bort" it changes the frequency of things a bit, pulling from the background the more traditional and aggressive lines of Black Metal along with acoustic guitar and folk elements that revive the roots of style. Despite everything sound clean and simple the union of each compound brings a variant harmony that hangs easily for softness or for the dark without big impacts.

Maybe for those who do not appreciate the style it sounds like some discomfort but for me tracks like "Nebula" sound like some Nordic songs with a more macabre vision, then it becomes really familiar to hear the inversion of voices and intonation. For many years I have heard of Scandinavian Black Metal with a very blurred vision of what this really means, and believe me, that denomination goes way beyond blood, death and demons, so obviously "Frostland" made me feel at home, because although it is a sonority full of sadness there is a connectivity with things besides, in a cultural and natural aspect.

A really interesting detail about Skuggorna Kallar is that because it is a visibly well-produced album it still sounds as raw as some things from the past and this really is a cover letter from the band Skogen in this fifth full-lenght in its nine years of existence. It's stunning the set of each instrument so clear sounding together as in "The Sun's Blood" where the lyrics are sung so that the image in the mind travels to ancient times in Nordic history, at the same time that "Beneath The Trees" takes you to feeling of despair and winds that whistle in the forests.

Maybe I'm not the ideal person to talk about this album because all this atmosphere makes me feel comfortably at home and spiritually involved in every melody, but if you seek faithful lines to Black Metal then surely this is an honorable choice. Featured on “Omen” and “The Funeral”.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Det Nordiska Mörkret
2. När Solen Bleknar Bort
3. Nebula
4. Omen
5. Frostland
6. The Sun’s Blood
7. Beneath the Trees
8. The Funeral
Joakim Svensson - Bass, Vocals
Mathias Nilsson - Guitars, Vocals
L. Larsson - Drums, Vocals
Jonathan Jansson - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Nordvis Produktion


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Edited 22 November 2019

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