Icelandic six piece Viking/Folk Metal heroes Skálmöld (translation: Age of Swords and/or lawlessness) have consistently delivered quality hard hitting albums since their incarnation in 2009, thus bringing us to their latest studio album Sorgir (translation: Sorrows). Rather refreshingly what remains intact is the classic Skálmöld sound which features every single member contributing to vocal duties and their continued abilities to summon any Norse God with their respective duties in the band. It’s no secret Skálmöld are professionals at keeping the pulse of a song in the palm of their hands, their controlled progressive metal with the expected chanting gang vocals that keeps the classic Viking influence/ belief right at the top of this latest musical endeavor.
An interesting fact, Sorgir is broken into two halves, the first four tracks being age old Icelandic tales and the second four tracks being the same tales but presented from a different perspective. “Sverðið” sees the true guttural meets journeyman gang vocal chanting throughout, this being one of the first four songs on the album that tells short stories of tragedy and death. Moving further along “Skotta”, which is the first track “Ljósið” told from a different perspective takes the listener on an epic journey with constant rhythmic changes and endless vocal shifts that range from bowel deep growls to famous European wails.
Stand out track ”Móri” be it not about anything particularly joyful the song itself has an uplifting emotion about it, it’s pure simplicity and hauntingly feel good vocals puts this track in the repeat mode category. All of this is intelligently interrupted two thirds of the way in though with a blistering blast beat and a quick amount of controlled chaos before returning to the feel good brilliance that makes this track so damn tasty.
Final track “Mara” displays the standout musicianship that Skálmöld is so well known for, with an (what seems) endless instrumental section filled with featured pieces from each member that becomes a thick and intense sound sphere “Mara” is a bang on closer for such an album.
If Viking/ Folk Metal is what gets your ears fizzing from morning till night then be sure to add Sorgir to the collection, it’s a solid album with particularly evil and poetic moments that will be sure to keep the listener wanting to continually pick this album up/ remain on a play list.