If you ask me there’s a drastic shortage of good folk metal in this wide, wide world. Sure, we got bands like Korplikaani and Ensiferum who are fantastic to listen to, but where’s all that talent that doesn’t seem to get it’s share of the lime light? Where are all the unsung heroes? While I can’t say that I’ve found done of awesome bands who fit such a bill, Skálmöld is a fan-fucking-tastic starting point.
In order to be a real folk metal group in my eyes you gotta have two things: (1) the implementation of at least one “unconventional” instrument not normally used in a metal lineup (ex: violin), and (2) you can’t just waltz around a fucking bonfire, instead you gotta chant about the glory of battle, the beauty of nature, and/or the nectar of the gods – mead. Skálmöld have always stayed true to those two simple points of mine, but it is perhaps their upcoming “Vögguvísur Yggdrasils” that takes things up a notch. The first immediate thing I notice about the album is its rhythms and flows that, while sounding a little clunky at times, really captures the rough part of folk a lot of bands aren’t really able to capture with just the vocals alone, but Skálmöld prove they can do it with the entire band. Making it pack one fucking hell of a relentless punch that seemingly never ends, yet there are moments that defy the rest. “Vögguvísur Yggdrasils” has these moments of pure serenity and enlightenment that seem to take place in the calm of a fierce battle, pulling you from one experience to a totally different only, and then quickly tossing you back into the inferno. And every single second of every experience that is thrown at you from this album, be it the catchier parts or the extended battles that catch your fancy, it’s hard to deny Skálmöld’s authority as a folk band in it of itself.
A rare thing in the folk world of today, “Vögguvísur Yggdrasils” is an excellent place to start if you want to get the premium experience of the lesser known bands of the genre. Skálmöld’s skill has never been as good as it has with this record, and after listening to but a few tracks it’s no hard task to see why.
“Vögguvísur Yggdrasils” releases on September 30th!
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