Review: Skogen – Skuggorna Kallar

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Label: Nordvis

Skuggorna Kallar, the fifth album from Skogen, is a work of glorious darkness. Pulling together folk and black metal in ways that testify to the experience of the band, the album is like a journey through some forgotten woodland, full of sights and sounds as wondrous as they are terrifyingly captivating. It is a record content to take its time, with front-loaded appeal but keeping its best aspects slightly hidden, that feels as if it is possessed of a spirit that calls to something almost-forgotten in mankind; a sense of connection to the world around us, of respect for nature, and an understanding of our place in it.

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Review: Grift – Vilsna Andars Boning

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Label: Nordvis

Despite being a fairly short release, Vilsna Andars Boning is the kind of record that it’s possible to lose hours at a time to. This two-track EP from Grift is filled with a haunting melancholy, that is rendered all the more effective for its stripped-down delivery, its folk guitars and sparse drums speaking of long winters and evoking memories of the past. It is music that is at once deeply personal and universal, summoning old spirits and filling the night with its warmth.

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Sons Of Crom – The Black Tower

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Label: Nordvis Produktion / Bindrune Recordings

If I told you that The Black Tower made me think of mid-90’s Darkthrone, Blind Guardian, and viking-era Bathory all within one song, you’d either be a) highly interested or b) very worried. Well, if you fall in to the later category, don’t be. The second album from Sons Of Crom is a masterful piece of epic heavy metal, that draws from a wide variety of influences to create something that is incredibly confident and powerful. It is also possessed of a singular vision, an undeniable sense of purpose and conviction that keeps the album focused, bringing together those multiple influences in to something far greater than the sum of their parts. It’s not often a (relatively) traditional metal album wins me over, but The Black Tower has done just that, and I highly recommend it.

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