Sweden’s Skogen returns with “Skuggorna Kallar”, the band's fifth full length in 9 years. A fresh blend of progressive black metal and folk melody embellishments, this album is a great fit for fans of Enslaved, Vintersorg, Borknagar and the like. While many artists in the black metal space have been leaning heavily towards the progressive element of the genre in recent years, Skogen proves with this record that it is still possible to create music that sounds well put together while retaining the core of black metal roots.
For audiophiles, “Skuggorna Kallar” is an unexpected rarity - very heavy without sounding overproduced. Each instrument finds a distinctive home in the spectrum and when combined sum to greater than their parts. This effect is pronounced as riffs flow from loud and thunderous to atmospheric and subdued with ease. Though the production quality is undeniably high and inventive elements can be found in each song, the album really shines in the quality of raw emotive expression that is so integral to the black metal genre.
“Skuggorna Kallar” delivers some high quality Bathory vibes throughout - especially on tracks such as “Det Nordiska Mörkret” and “Frostland”. But there is no reliance on an already well-defined Nordic style here; Skogen brings their own sound to the table full force by alternating epic and folkish tracks with expansive atmospheric tracks, notably “The Funeral."
For traditionalists or enthusiasts with complex tastes, this record provides a satisfying synthesis of the core ardors of black metal married with nods to modern sensibilities and should prove to be a palatable listen.
Label: Nordvis Records
1. Det Nordiska Mörkret
2. När Solen Bleknar Bort
6. The Sun’s Blood
7. Beneath The Trees
8. The Funeral