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Skyforger - Senprūsija

by Matt "Wolverine" Johnson at 23 April 2015, 2:37 PM

Thinking back, I cannot recall a single band from Latvia. I know of METSATOLL (Folk/Pagan Metal from Estonia), but that about covers my knowledge of extreme Northeast European bands off the top of my head. Nevertheless, SKYFORGER is that single band from Latvia that I have heard of, and damn if they don't give their country a good reputation for Metal. They are neighbors with Scandinavia just to the north after all, so maybe a lot of that Metal talent is bleeding across the Baltic Sea to these guys.

As of April 6, 2015, they have recorded and released their sixth studio album, "Senprūsija", with a total of twelve bone-crushing tracks. Some of them sound like a more Folky-sounding ENSIFERUM crossed with AMON AMARTH, while others remind me of FINNTROLL going on a Death Metal binge. Despite the nuances between songs, they are all undeniably Pagan/Viking Metal, making me want to sharpen my axe blade and board the ship to set sail in the winter snow for the journey to our next battle. That is just a visual representation. Despite the fact that I cannot verify that the lyrics match my interpretation of the music since I have literally zero experience with the Latvian language, it still sounds awesome as hell!

The majority of the album features those lovely and rhythmic double-bass drums, but one track I noticed which was more melodic and beefy was "Rāmava." It just seemed to slowly pound the speakers through the first half of the song then proceeded to bring the walls down. The production and sound quality of the entire album is excellent and the instruments compliment each other behind the gruff vocals. The songs are not overtly complex but are identifiable, despite their straightforward approach and structure.

In general, the music provides some sense of insight into the cultural tone of SKYFORGER's native Latvia. The riffs, the progressions, the solos, and the distortions on guitar seem to imply an intensity in the regional climate and population. The drums seem to imply a rhythm to their daily lives and while it may be modern for some of the population, perhaps the rural life is still a lot more traditional than one would expect in a modern country.

Without trying to associate the music with a certain geographical location, this is still some great music and will likely have heads banging all over the world! SKYFORGER have perfected their recipe for Metal and "Senprūsija" is just what the doctor ordered!

4 Star Rating

1. Ei skīja, skīja
2. Senprūsija
3. Sudāvu jātnieki
4. Tagad vai nekad
5. Herkus Monte
6. Rāmava
7. Lepnums un spīts
8. Divi brāļi
9. Melnās buras
10. Nekas nav aizmirsts
11. Rituāls
12. Zem Lietuvas karogiem
Peter - Vocals, Guitars, Folk Instruments
Edgars “Zirgs” - Bass, Folk Instruments, Screams
Edgars “Mazais” - Thunderdrums
Alvis - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Thunderforge Records


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