Blessings Of Winter EP

Written by: MN on 16/01/2014 14:33:54

Norrsköld hails from Gothenburg, the birthplace and sanctuary for the hugely popular melodic death metal. Anchored by Henrik Bodin-Sköld, Norrsköld is a one-man project that uses session musicians but all material is written by Henrik himself. Formely of Irbloss, Henrik composed this EP which is heavily inspired by the icy and deeply expressionate facets of winter in all its gloomy and bleak glory. Genrewise, the soundscape is deeply rooted in the Gothenburg school of melodeath, but with clear neoclassical influences and even timely classic guitar interludes that bring a refreshing afterthought to the otherwise aggressive expression. Containing six solid tracks, this EP introduces a project of considerable potential. The searing guitar lashes are complimented by a heavy onset of drums that are expertly produced, sounding organic as bass drum has been allowed to resonate instead of being retired to a synthetic and muted version as often found in many contemporary melodic/atmospheric/death metal bands.

Track opener "Night Crystals" is released in a black metal manner, but eventually the tempo is dropped and melody takes centre stage. It is however clear that the dark influence of black metal features in many elements of each track, returning occasionally like an invited guest. The sound is just as raw as it is beautiful, thanks to the very meticulous choice of melody, heavy riffs and chaoticism of its nothern influences, namely black metal. This combination is perfectly witnessed in the song "Dreamless". "Blessings Of Winter" is the first acoustic interlude and is something that easily could have featured on a Mark Knopfler record or an Andy Mckee production for that matter. "Solar Prominence" is a song along the lines of Children Of Bodom but with a slightly rawer production, again carried by a thumping double bass drum.

It is certain that there lies a lot of future in this concoction of melodeath with classic influences, hell, there are even times I recall some Maidenesque melodies in Henrik's captivating work. This is clearly an EP that serves as a tasty morsel of what is to come in 2014, which is hopefully a record that stays aviated in high quality and variation. I hope to see the classic guitar feature even more on the full LP, as it is one of the most intriguing elements of Norrsköld.


Download: Blessings Of Winter, Solar Prominence, Night Crystals
For The Fans Of: Children Of Bodom, Underthreat, Keep Of Kalessin
Listen: Norrskölds Facebook

Release date 22.10.2013


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