Tuesday, 29 September 2015

CD Review: SKOLL -" Grisera"- Review by Dave Wolff

Ewiges Eis
Skoll is a pagan/black/Viking metal act from Italy consisting of a sole member who plays each of the instruments. M the Bard started the band as Ragnarok in 1994, changed its name and began actively recording in 1996. Grisera is his third CD from 2013; his most recent outings are a 2014 compilation CD The Early Raw Days 1994-1996 and Through The Mountains Mist They Came, a split release he released with Spain’s Uruk-Hai this year. Grisera was limited to 500 copies so I don’t know if you can still acquire one at present; for information on this you’d have to contact the label. Although the four songs appearing here are of familiar territory, you can feel the devotion to ancient times and the sincerity with which it is celebrated. M has session musicians working on the material, including a keyboardist and violin player. One thing I can say makes this album a standout is the keyboards and violins are mixed just under the guitars, giving the songs an edge that works well with the raw production and somber guitars. There’s just enough atmosphere from this mixing job to present a profound mental picture. It’s as if you’re looking through an age-weathered window into a world that’s not dead at all but just as vital as it was way back when. Together with other moments of coldness and longing, it creates a contrast that elevates the music to near-monumental proportions. The title song for example is an excursion into all of these themes, with some impressive double bass percussion, moving into a quieter and more introspective section calling to mind what Satyricon was doing on Dark Medieval Times (still one of my favorite albums of theirs). This album gradually, relentlessly grows on you until you are fully convinced of their sincerity and want to hear more. Now that’s effective songwriting if ever was such a thing. -Dave Wolff

M: Instruments, vocals

1. Grush
2. Grisera
3. Hrothaharijaz
4. Wolves in the Mist
5. The Bard

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