Monday, 1 December 2014

Review of the album "Með vættum" bySkálmöld (Napalm Records)



Skálmöld is a Viking metal band from Iceland formed in 2009, the name comes from the words "Age of the Sword". The band have released three albums, Baldur  (2010), Börn Loka  (2012) and the recently released Með vættum, last 14th of November 2014 via Napalm Records, and will be available the 1st December in UK (and rest of Europe).

Skálmöld feed the flame of Viking metal adding fo drippings under a mixture of heavy metal, thrash and death metal elements along the album, the vocals are impeccable, growling and straight from the beginning to the end, but probably eclipsed by the high quality of the guitar and drums performance most of the times, alternating the death metal elements in good harmony with the above mentioned thrash missiles and heavy pounding rhythms; the compositions are rich in general and will never bore the listener, being one of the best cards played by the band.

Að vori opens the album straight away with the Viking power sensation, boosted with epic force and headbanging feeling, with special mention to the vocal job and the strong pounding drumbeats, continued by Með fuglum, exploding in a powerful death metal attack contrasting with heavy and viking headbanging metal in-between, remarkable job on those guitar riffs, thrashy solos and also the bass sound, powerful with the melodic clean vocal parts, definitely one of the best of the band.

Then is the turn of the mid tempo with increscendo structure Að sumri, enriched with sophisticated drum performance and really good job on the vocal melodies, and of course awesome ending continued with another mid paced shot Með drekum, this time with stronger and neckbreaking riffs and drumbeats with added northern epic melodies.

Að hausti heralds one of the best Viking symphonies of the album and also is combined with modern structures on the vocals, that mixed together creates a good feeling, keeping the headbanging power with good points on the double pedal parts.

If up to now you like the album, get ready for the best song of the band, Með jötnum, including the best Viking sensations twisting the rhythms with death metal riffs and technical drum performance, and even though the instrumental break could distract you at the beginning, it's a theatrical warming up for the best composition of the album, where the intensity explodes in an astonishing in crescendo canon of vocal melodies and epic instrumentals.

Að vetri continues the epic adventure with another genuine viking metal shot, creating a good harmony with the straight harsh vocal and the melodic instrumentals, developing a forceful ending with epic power metal influences and leading to the last song of the album, Með griðungum, strong mid paced rhythms showing a better and more furious vocal play, ascending intensity exploding in a sudden fast paced metal where the shredding and the vocal verses explodes together leading to an intense hymn part very well composed.

Skálmöld forged an album with the essential Viking metal lessons, but without being another run of the mill job, the band introduced thrash, heavy and death metal elements, ascending the power to a high level of inspiration and technical performance, equally headbanging from the very first second.

9 / 10



Line up


Snæbjörn Ragnarsson - Bass
Björgvin Sigurðsson   - Vocals, Guitars
Gunnar Ben  -  Keyboards, Vocals, Oboe
Baldur Ragnarsson  -  Guitars, Vocals
Þráinn Árni Baldvinsson  - Guitars, VocalsJón Geir Jóhannsson -  Drums, Vocals


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Post by Daniel Ortiz from Metalheads Union and Metalheads Union FB