Rating:
8.0
Skogen - Svítjod
17 April 2011


01. Dighra Dödh
02. Häxsabbat (Crimen Laesae Divinae Maiestatis)
03. Midnattens Glimrande Stillhet
04. Begraven [feat. Peter Lindstrom]
05. Vinterriket [feat. Peter Lindstrom]
06. Storm
07. Vansinnets Hemvist
08. Blodörnshämnd
09. Dauðaferð
10. Svítjod


Skogen, another Swedish black metal band signed to Frostscald Records, released their debut back in 2009 without much of a bang. Having been described as a "more relaxed cross between Primordial and Moonsorrow", you'd think they'd have more of a following.

Well maybe we just didn't name-drop enough. How about I throw out names like... oh, I don't know, Drautran? Agalloch? Wodensthrone? Kampfar? Maybe the comparison game will give them another chance at "stardom".

Anyway, the music. It's actually pretty damn awesome. The vocals are incredibly spiteful, the overall mood is rather depressive, and the instrumentation is top-notch. These guys don't add anything new to the genre (best described as pagan black metal) but they do the style justice, incorporating a wide variety of acoustic guitar interplay with beautiful haunting melodies. It's no surprise this work is dedicated to fallen comrade Jens Norberg, as a feeling of sorrow pervades the entire album. Songs such as "Midnattens Glimrande Stillhet" and the 11-minute epic "Vinterriket" both do a wonderful job of evoking a strong sense of remorse, and the beautiful piano instrumental ("Dauðaferð") helps calm the listener down after a barrage of negative emotions.

That's not to say this is something non-metal, like a shoegaze or neofolk release. It's still firmly rooted in the soils of black metal, it just happens to be the somewhat ethereal, epic, melodic, atmospheric kind. The "pagan" aspect can be attributed primarily to the clean chants and acoustic passages, which are both executed to perfection here. But there is a bit of an issue with all of this: consistency. This album comes off as something more or less comprised of two completely separate recordings, which is likely due to - as the band puts it - the sporadic recording that took place for over a year.

If you can get past the lengthy tracks, are in the mood for beautifully constructed somber black metal epics, enjoy acoustic solos, dig piano tracks, don't mind clean chants, and love yourself some truly depressive atmosphere: This is the album for you. It will likely disappoint those who are in search of something more direct and aggressive, however.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 08.03.2012 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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BoxCar Willy - 08.03.2012 at 21:31  
I actually think I have this album.

I need to check when I get home, as this sounds like something I'd love!

Nice review.
Troy Killjoy - 08.03.2012 at 21:38  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 08.03.2012 at 21:31
I need to check when I get home, as this sounds like something I'd love! Nice review.

Thanks. I actually posted a song on my wall and linked you for when you get home.
BoxCar Willy - 08.03.2012 at 21:40  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 08.03.2012 at 21:38

Written by BoxCar Willy on 08.03.2012 at 21:31
I need to check when I get home, as this sounds like something I'd love! Nice review.

Thanks. I actually posted a song on my wall and linked you for when you get home.

Thanks for thinking of me bb <3
Mr. Doctor - 08.03.2012 at 22:03  
Shit dude you and writing a lot of stuff I can't keep up! At this rate I won't be done with 2011 by the end of this year
Troy Killjoy - 08.03.2012 at 22:05  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 08.03.2012 at 22:03
Shit dude you and writing a lot of stuff I can't keep up! At this rate I won't be done with 2011 by the end of this year

Just one more 2011 release, I promise. It's from November, so it's not as old as these last three.
Mr. Doctor - 08.03.2012 at 22:13  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 08.03.2012 at 22:05

Written by Mr. Doctor on 08.03.2012 at 22:03
Shit dude you and writing a lot of stuff I can't keep up! At this rate I won't be done with 2011 by the end of this year

Just one more 2011 release, I promise. It's from November, so it's not as old as these last three.


I have one more but I think the difference is that my album isn't as exciting and good as the ones you have reviewed so it's more of "I have to do it" kind of review.
Verdun_sc - 09.03.2012 at 04:50  
Again, really enjoy this record. Good review, although I feel like the subtle Doom feeling deserves mention, with all the other characteristics you listed. In fact when I think of Black/Doom this album is probably one of the first I think of...
Troy Killjoy - 09.03.2012 at 04:57  
Written by Verdun_sc on 09.03.2012 at 04:50
Again, really enjoy this record. Good review, although I feel like the subtle Doom feeling deserves mention, with all the other characteristics you listed. In fact when I think of Black/Doom this album is probably one of the first I think of...

I can get on board with there being a subtle doom vibe. There's a bit of an Austere/Forgotten Tomb feel sometimes.
AngelofDeth - 09.03.2012 at 05:18  
Well you got me interested! ill check out some of their stuff on the youtubes while ill play some mw3(trolltime)

Really diggin the album artwork too. Exactly what i like to capture in my photography, cept its always too damn sunny here:-X
Troy Killjoy - 09.03.2012 at 05:28  
Written by AngelofDeth on 09.03.2012 at 05:18
Well you got me interested!

Really? I thought you were more of like a death/thrash kind of guy. Oh well, hopefully you enjoy this because it's a pretty awesome piece of work.
AngelofDeth - 09.03.2012 at 05:44  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 09.03.2012 at 05:28

Written by AngelofDeth on 09.03.2012 at 05:18
Well you got me interested!

Really? I thought you were more of like a death/thrash kind of guy. Oh well, hopefully you enjoy this because it's a pretty awesome piece of work.

I just started checking out some more BM actually and I already like Epic/melodic/folk type stuff so this looks like it could be good!
Verdun_sc - 09.03.2012 at 05:53  
Written by AngelofDeth on 09.03.2012 at 05:44

I just started checking out some more BM actually and I already like Epic/melodic/folk type stuff so this looks like it could be good!

Just based on this I would say you should listen to Aaskereia - Dort, wo das alte Bose ruht
Troy Killjoy - 09.03.2012 at 06:06  
I second Aaskereia.
InnerSelf - 09.03.2012 at 13:03  
From the review and the endless name dropping it sounds like there is a lot of variation here, will be checking this soon
Merchant of Doom - 09.03.2012 at 14:26  
Very good indeed... doomy enough for me!
Cynic Metalhead - 09.03.2012 at 15:50  
Dude...you drop another one?!! Daaaamn!:P

The pace at which you're writing needs to be heavily controlled. Already 2 of your albums i need to "check it out". Well, that's really good. that shows you on fire. Keep it up.
-DC-002- - 10.03.2012 at 01:53  
Good review, Troy. I think you hit this album right on the head, especially how the production seems scattered. Now that you mention that it IS somewhat inconsistent. It's really great album though and it's about time a review was written for it.
Troy Killjoy - 10.03.2012 at 02:34  
Written by -DC-002- on 10.03.2012 at 01:53
Good review, Troy. I think you hit this album right on the head, especially how the production seems scattered. Now that you mention that it IS somewhat inconsistent. It's really great album though and it's about time a review was written for it.

Thanks. It's unfortunate because it's such a minor imperfection but it didn't make me think of it as being significantly worse. Still an awesome record and I definitely look forward to their next release.
Merchant of Doom - 18.03.2012 at 12:36  
Best atmospheric BM album ever!
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.03.2012 at 23:14  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 18.03.2012 at 12:36

Best atmospheric BM album ever!

This sounds like the words of someone who hasn't heard this ;]
Troy Killjoy - 24.03.2012 at 05:02  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.03.2012 at 23:14
this

Fucking great album, that.
Merchant of Doom - 24.03.2012 at 12:05  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.03.2012 at 23:14

Written by Merchant of Doom on 18.03.2012 at 12:36

Best atmospheric BM album ever!

This sounds like the words of someone who hasn't heard this ;]



No, I hadn't heard it and, after listening to a few tracks on YouTube, I still prefer Skogen. Good, but too straightforward BM for me, if you know what I mean...
AngelofDeth - 26.03.2012 at 06:33  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 09.03.2012 at 05:28

hopefully you enjoy this because it's a pretty awesome piece of work.

Ive been listening to their tracks on youtube and its fuckn awesome! im buying this and Vittra off iTunes rite now..
Copernicus - 04.08.2013 at 14:12  
Perfect atmosphere...

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