Rating:
8.0
Skogen - I Döden
7 April 2014


01. Vargher
02. I Döden
03. När Himlen Svartnar
04. Solarvore
05. Livets Ruin
06. Griftenatt
07. Midvintergraven
08. Svartskogen
09. Sleep


It seems like yesterday (it wasn't) when Skogen released Svítjod and I sat at my computer desk typing up a review starting out with how much these guys have flown under the radar in spite of creating some excellent atmospheric/pagan black metal. Today I will start out doing the same.

This Swedish trio have a knack for songwriting. They don't indulge themselves too much even though most of their songs surpass the 7-minute mark, and they don't get too caught up with "trying" to build up a dark atmosphere. The fluid transition from beginning to end is about as natural as it gets, comparable to The Mantle by Agalloch. There are moments when you expect an acoustic breakdown or a blastbeat assault that never happens, but that's a minor fault in the grand scheme of things and doesn't take away from the overall quality of the album.

Words like "beautiful" and "epic" are often overused and thrown around when it comes to describing this kind of atmospheric metal, but I döden does its best to earn those compliments with some grandiose leads and melancholic backing choir-esque chants, not dissimilar to what they've done in the past. It's difficult to say whether or not this is the best Skogen release thus far, considering their sound has only been tampered with on a minuscule level, but it's certainly another quality album to add to the band's expanding discography.

Skogen have done a great job staying the course while also evolving their sound slightly, or at least while carving out their niche in the metal scene. This is far from the most original release you'll ever listen to, but I döden still retains the "beautiful" and "epic" qualities of its predecessors, taking the listener on an hour-long journey of mid-paced keyboard-laden dream-like atmospheric black metal. In other words, it's an easily digestible album that should please fans of Wodensthrone, Fen, and the legion of Cascadian and/or pagan black metal bands.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 9


 



Written on 15.04.2014 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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Marcel Hubregtse - 16.04.2014 at 00:55  
Another 6/7 album which gets a way too high score here. Really this is a 7.3 at most since it's soooooooooo incredibebly standard.
-DC-002- - 16.04.2014 at 01:30  
I really liked Svitjod when it came out but their last album was pretty underwhelming. I appreciate the review Troy and I'll probably check it and see how it stacks up with Svitjod.
Troy Killjoy - 16.04.2014 at 18:25  
Written by -DC-002- on 16.04.2014 at 01:30
I really liked Svitjod when it came out but their last album was pretty underwhelming. I appreciate the review Troy and I'll probably check it and see how it stacks up with Svitjod.

Overall this is a slower album and each track takes a bit more time to build up momentum, but it still has most of the same elements that made Svitjod what it is. My only real complaint is that it's a bit too scaled back in the extremity department (hence the 8 and not a higher score) but depending on my mood I might actually prefer I doden at times.
Merchant of Doom - 05.05.2014 at 11:44  
^^^ this... also, the recording could bit a touch louder... still a very good album...

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