Skogen - Eld
Nordvis Produktion
Atmospheric Black Metal
8 songs (59'55")
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Alex

Whenever I hear that the album is a re-release I naturally gravitate to a thought as to whether I would have loved to hear the music when it originally saw the light of day and if the re-release is granted, in my mind anyway. Nordvis has been on that path with Swedish Skogen, thinking the band did not get their fair due. First Svitjod, a beautiful and truly atmospheric creation, and now Eld are on tap for black metal fans to familiarize or reintroduce themselves to Skogen.

A trio at the time of Eld, it is hard to classify Skogen as black metal at all. Going by the book, Eld could fit anywhere from dark to atmospheric to pagan to doom rock. There is very little blasting or nastiness, but, if anything, Eld is at least to a degree a hybrid of black metal orthodoxy, pissed off gloomy rockiness (a la Khold) with a ton of epic folky atmosphere contained in these eight compositions. Perhaps due to its subject matter of superstition and witch hunt, the album feels a lot grittier than its predecessor Svitjod. There are quite a few of unhurried tremolos, set to bearish gait rhythms, Aska and monster closer Monolit unfolding slowly. Dark bells ringing in Monolit or dissonant resonant overtones painting Svavelpsalm with an almost menacing glare, a lot of Eld is not very comforting and pleasant. Apokalypsens vita dimma even breathes fire, before dying all of a sudden into an acoustic pool, something many a song here (Genom svarta vatten, Djavulens eld) are also prone to, after conjuring the dark arts over the boiling cauldron (Genom svarta vatten) is complete.

What makes Eld unique, not only in the field of other atmospheric black metal albums, but in the Skogen discography itself, is the fact that the album is enriched with multiple elements from every corner of extreme metal. Aska feels almost ritualistic, Orcus Labyrint opens up with a soft acoustic strum leading to epic territorial swaths drenched in freezing cold rain of a solo, and Djavulens eld becomes totally majestic, having embedded towering clean vocals into otherwise gruff delivery. The melody and clean vocals in Djavulens eld are equally good for travel traversing either wide open northern plateau or rising up inside of a tall-walled cathedral. Other epic melodic runs (at 6? mark of Aska) are just as enthralling as Djavulens eld. In their true trademark, even amidst darker mood of Eld Skogen still manage to find room for a totally atmospheric experience with is Nihil Sine Morte.

Not a mellow soft or outright malicious experience, Eld swings from dark to beautiful, never settling on either, and that is probably its main trait. Totally worthy of a re-release and your attention.

Killing Songs :
Djavulens eld, Orcus Labyrint
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Skogen that we have reviewed:
Skogen - Vittra reviewed by Andy and quoted 72 / 100
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