Skogen – I Döden (Nordvis)

Nordic ode to Sverige!

Swedish act Skogen is a typical black metal band from Sweden but with one important difference: they are very snail-paced band. Forget the brutality of Marduk and Dark Funeral, we are talking something near Lord Belial and Naglfar, but as I said: near, not exactly the same!

Their sound contains long passages of acoustic guitars (as in the first song Vargher), mid tempo to snail-paced passages, but always maintaining the black metal on the forefront and never betraying their Nordic style.

This is a CD with no great highlights tough, as they chose to act in the very same framework in the whole opus, so if one hears the autumnal song I Döden, and the very last lengthy track Sleep, he’s not going to find anything blatantly different between them, so what exactly the point of hearing this CD: literally the aforementioned “qualities”. This is an album who likes his Black Metal minimal and without great surprises, the joy is to enter into their gestalt and experience the cosmic and cold emotionless soundscapes. There’s a strong and arcane beauty in their work throwing the listener to forgotten and spotless macrocosm of immemorial and primitive times like in the strictly blackness of När Himlen Svartnar or in the euphonious Solarvore.

Nevertheless there is an atypical take of their sound as the process keep on running: the iteration not only of the minimal short phrases but, as they eventually change, the coming back to the initial riff as if remembering the listener they don’t go adrift. This is what sticks the whole scheme together.

Production-wise the band has the very same crystal clear sound of the Swedish Black Metal, of course with the due gritty guitars, but notwithstanding with a impeccable mixing and mastering of the sound.

I Döden is an album for those die-hard and poetic souls whose hearts are still truly immersed in the contour of the nineties, Swedish styled music.

(Daniel Death)

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