|Review: Skogen - Svitjod|
Label: Frostscald Records
Year released: 2011
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: April 21, 2012
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
This is "nature-themed" Black Metal that shares some common ground with such acts as Drudkh. "Soothing" and "relaxing" are not exactly terms I would normally associate with Black Metal, but this is exactly what Svitjod does for me. Pretty much slow-paced and very melodic, the album has more than its share of acoustic passages (when not entire songs) and personally I found that this dilutes "the metal" a bit too much – in other words, I often found myself wondering if maybe I hadn't mixed the playlist with some of my non-metal albums. :)
The more metallic parts remind me at times of "quieter" Graveland and even a bit of early Burzum guitar-wise, without really sounding like them there are some similarities in the style. Just like the acoustic stuff here, the metal is very melodic and really not "aggressive" (well, for a metalhead anyway...) Even the faster passages keep up with the melodies, definitely not an album that shreds out of control. Svitjod is often instrumental only, and the vocals are the expected BM low rasps, low enough in the mix as to not interfere with the very relaxing mood of the album.
While I found the strong presence of acoustic music to be a bother at times, when you are in the right mood, the mix of basic melodic Black Metal and acoustic is about as relaxing as it gets – play that sucker on a rainy day and it'll put you to sleep ("in a good way"). Not something I'd listen to every day, but it's the kind of album that's convenient to have around when you're in the mood for some metal-tinged relaxant.
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