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Review: Norrsköld - Ridden

Label: Rexius Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 14:39
Tracks: 4
Genre: Black/Death

Rating: 4/5

Review online: December 2, 2015
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (12 Votes)

Swedish melodic Black/Death Metal band Norrsköld use some folky elements here and there within their sound, which made a very positive impression on me in October 2014 when I got to hear the band's debut album, Reflections of the Night Sky. I threw a hypothetical question in the air, pondering whether people will see them as successors to Dissection's empty throne.

Well, let's leave all the speculation aside, and see what new they have on offer for us this time, shall we? These melodic Swedish Black/Death Metallers' new EP contains three new songs, plus a cover of the traditional Swedish folk song "Hårgalåten". Norrsköld don't let us down this time either. Their melodic and folky mixture of Black and Death Metal is carefully crafted all the way, the band having paid attention to certain details, just to make their songs flow the most optimal way. Somehow, one instantly gets a feeling that this type of stuff is definitely a product of the Gothenburg area – and that's where we all are hit in the middle of the bull's eye. The title track, "Ridden", is quite a masterpiece of a song; a mix of strong folky elements and weeping guitar lines, outbursting aggression and just about everything else that makes a great song. "Aerial Fire" is a fast-paced instrumental number, showing off how tightly these lads can actually play together, no matter how many different tempo changes or moods or whatever a song would contain. "Timeless Gardens" is a simple but beautiful acoustic instrumental ballad song, underlining the importance of the role that acoustic guitars have within their music, as is building up some certain fragile and beautiful bridges over more mean and aggressive-sounding parts. The last song, a cover of the famous Swedish folk song "Hårgalåtan", which their country mates In Flames also recorded for their debut album, Lunar Strain back in 1994, has also gotten an adequate treatment in the Norrsköld camp. The right and recognizable melody is there, but Norrsköld twisted the song to make it sound like them, which is absolutely cool.

Ridden keeps the band tightly on that path, where you can expect some quality stuff coming out from these talented Swedes. Up next, we need to get their follow-up album, which I am anxiously looking forward to.

Other related information on the site
Review: Prisma Aeturnus (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Reflections of the Night Sky (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Withering Virtue - The Second Chapter (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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