Rating:
8.4
Skálmöld - Baldur
15 December 2010


01. Heima
02. Árás [feat. Aðalbjörn Tryggvason]
03. Sorg
04. Upprisa
05. För
06. Draumur
07. Kvaðning
08. Hefnd [feat. Aðalbjörn Tryggvason]
09. Dauði
10. Valhöll


The first Viking metal band from Iceland, hell yeah finally!!!

Those were my thoughts when I first heard of this band. Then I took a look at the line-up. No one is a member of a metal band, no one has played in a metal band, and the closest to come to that is the soloist. Well I went to buy the album anyway as soon as it was in stores in Iceland, it was already sold out. I didn't get a CD since I gave up trying to get one and just bought it digitally, yeah I know lazy and so not kvlt.

But anyway after the first listen I felt this was way to cheesy to work, I gave it a few spins anyway and still it felt way to cheesy. So I went to see their first live performance (not something to remember), but as I drove home and decided to blast them something happened: I found myself singing along and actually headbanging all the way home, the cheesiness had won me over and Skálmöld gained a fan in a few days. I blame it on the lyrics, believe it or not it's the best written material in years and not just from a metal act either (in Iceland).

It starts of with an acapella kind of song with kids singing along that ends with a choir, a song that explains how Baldur lives, his farm, his family and his character. Then it really opens with "Árás" as his farm gets demolished and he and his family get brutally murdered, and the story of the album is set in motion that gradually builds to the fruition of Baldur's revenge and his rise to Valhalla. Musically it's so cheesy one can sink his/her teeth into it, but as in my experience it builds on you, gradually gets better. It's by no means original but gets more than made up for with solid performances from all members, who clearly know their limits and just focus on their strengths. Strong structure both musically and lyrically, not forgetting each member's performance saves an otherwise uninteresting album.

Those who like Týr and such bands will like this stuff. A solid release really nothing that bad to say about this release, I mean hey they even were booked for Wacken Open Air before they'd scheduled their first concert in Iceland.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 4
Production: 9


Band profile: Skálmöld
Album: Baldur


 


written by Aebsi | 20.01.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Promonex - 26.01.2012 at 16:55  
Dude, you might want to check Skálmöld's Facebook page
Aebsi - 27.01.2012 at 20:05  
Yea I can't wait for their next one, but it took me a few days to get into "Baldur", now I love Skálmöld just as much as I love Týr

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