11 May 2018

Skogen: "Skuggorna Kallar"

A turn to something worse, or the beginning of a new exciting chapter?
Skogen is one of those bands that just keep getting better and better. From Vittra in 2009, through Svitjod and Eld, I Döden from 2014 was the culmination of a lengthy venture into the ultimate combination of traditional black metal guitar riffs and exceptionally immersive atmosphere. I Döden was - and still is - one of the most surprising and stand-out black metal albums of the 2010s for me. But leave it to Skogen to throw us another curve ball.

Skuggorna Kallar is a strange turn of events. Rather than continuing in the style the Swedish group had perfected up to 2014, they have now opted for a thicker, slower and more drawn out, chord-based format. Though still black metal at heart, their latest opus is much more dreary and heavy handed. The general feel isn't quite as thrilling, atmospheric or memorable as I Döden.

"...basic song structure that trails off into insignificance,"

The most outstanding part of the otherwise meandering album is the addition of several clean singing choruses. In the vicinity of lacklustre guitars and heartless drums smashed together in basic song structure that trails off into insignificance, these overly melodic anthems take the spotlight convincingly and serves as a much needed vivid contrast to the drab guitar and bass sections.

Skuggorna Kallar generally feels like a let down coming off the trail of the previous album. It may well be the beginning of a new chapter of Skogen's journey through metal, and let's hope that they can perfect this style like they did their former. One can only hope, for this album does not stand well as its own individual.


Released in 2018 by Nordvis Produktion


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