Skogen

I Döden

Written by: MST on 02/06/2014 00:29:10

Striving to come up with the next original blend of metal genres is not an easy task these days, what with the thousands of bands attempting that feat every day. Traditional black metal, for instance, will pretty much always be what you expect it to be, and atmospheric black metal is all the rage at the moment. The Swedish black metallers in Skogen have seemingly aimed for a mix of several different aspects of black metal, with long compositions and atmospheric keyboards often following more traditionally "evil" riffing and vocals, with sections of clean vocals hinting at pagan influences at times. At least as far as this writer is concerned, Skogen are one of few bands to play black metal in this way, and it's quite interesting to say the least.

Across the eight tracks that follow after the short intro, Skogen jump back and forth between an atmospheric, keyboard driven and quite melancholic style of black metal, as especially "Solarvore" clearly shows, and a more traditional, sinister type of black metal. It's all very well done: the keyboard stays firmly in the background in the atmospheric tracks, creating a thick layer of atmosphere for the melancholic riffing and vocals to build upon, thus invoking images of desolate landscapes and feelings of sorrow and solitude. Then we have songs like "När himlen svartnar", a song with a much more sinister tone to it. These parts are also nicely crafted and surprisingly, none of the different parts of the album feel out of place as anger and resentment replace agony and remorse in order to bring the album up in pace and intensity. The riffing is varied and intelligent throughout the album, and the vocals, though firmly settled in a more sinister tone in terms of vocal technique, aptly convey all styles and atmospheres, whether hopeless and melancholic, or ominous and malevolent.

Originality isn't exactly what Skogen are aiming for, as there are clear hints to several bands in the respective subcategories of black metal that Skogen borrow from. It is the execution that makes "I Döden" a great album, as everything flows naturally between styles throughout the hour-long record. It's important to underline though that "I Döden" has to be appreciated as the hybrid album that it is, as black metal fans who dislike atmospheric black metal will surely be bored halfway through this, Skogen's fourth album. For those like me however, who can appreciate how the different aspects of the band's sound work together to create something bigger, "I Döden" is a very enjoyable and highly recommendable album.

8

Download: I döden, När himlen svartnar, Griftenatt
For The Fans Of: Drudkh, Wodensthrone, Kampfar, (old) Enslaved
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Release date 07.04.2014
Nordvis Produktion

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