If someone told me Skald in Veum was a black metal band active in the 1990s, I would not be surprised in the slightest. Made up of five anonymous figures hailing from the frostbitten depths of Scandinavia, the band delivers some of the most aggressive, furious black metal you can imagine. Drawing influence from bands such as Dark Funeral, Immortal, Watain & 1349, Skald in Veum carry the torch of oldschool black metal into the modern age.
After releasing their highly acclaimed debut EP 1260 Days in 2015, it got silent around the band. Now, four years later, they are finally back with their debut full length album Stridslysten. I have not heard their EP debut, so I went into this album without any expectations – and I was blown away by it. These guys are not fooling around. The music offered on this beast of an album is aggressive, fast, relentless black metal that does not care about trends or current musical movements.
This is oldschool black metal at its finest. Supersonic blast beats, furious and sharp riffs and abrasive vocals make up the sound of Stridslysten. Do not expect atmospheric synths, folksy interludes or moments of silence on this album. You will find nothing here except black metal in its purest form. Well, and some strong black’n’roll tendencies here and there, ’cause at times this thing is groovy as heck.
Lyrically, the album is just as uncompromising and fierce. The band’s ideological leader “Heth” delivers lyrics reminiscent of the messages of the prophets of the old testament. They are preaching fire and brimstone – vengeance and furious anger over a stubborn world that seems to turn a blind eye to the injustice and ungodlyness displayed in every corner. Critisizing both society and the church, Skald in Veum leave no stone unturned and take you to a place and time where blood and fire bring rest.
Here is an example of what to expect lyrically:
These days we repeat such filth with pride.
Perversions elevated to the state of state-religion,
marching through the gates of every city.
Or how about this lovely stanza:
You bite your wallet and bend over for rectal intrusion,
by the tower of Babylon that you made,
and the ones who stand in line,
are the guardians you paid.
Surprised that Christians use such imagery? Well, I recommend checking out the Bible, because this is the imagery God uses, too. He does not care about politeness when it comes to sin. He hates it with every fibre of his being. That’s why this kind of music and this kind of language is something we need more of in the “Christian scene”. Less contemporary half-heartedness and more uncompromising conviction.
To conclude this review, i can only say this: If you like black metal, I am almost 100 percent sure that you will enjoy this album. It embodies everything that originally defined this genre – it is radical, dark, aggressive, uncompromising, both musically and lyrically, and it radiates an atmosphere of fierceness and non-conformity. Check it out and let the fiery flood wash over your soul.
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