Tuesday, 29 September 2015

CD Review: SKUGGAN Kejsaren Av Ett Svart Rike

Kejsaren Av Ett Svart Rike
Ewiges Eis
Kejsaren Av Ett Svart Rike is the Swedish black metal project’s debut CD released in 2013. Its sole member started composing and recording the year this CD was released. Earlier that year he released a single demo track; more information on this is limited. All I found when researching this on Encyclopedia Metallum was the song title; nothing about the amount of copies made, distribution or availability. His second and most recent effort Slottet I Ändlöst Mörker was released in 2014. Mostly this full length is standard black metal, dark and atmospheric with touches of Throne Of Ahaz and Burzum. The first cut opens without an intro preceding it or lead in with one instrument. The sound is well produced and clear, and the material would work if produced clearly or produced with a rawer mixing job. I found the guitar progressions leaning to simplistic while the drums pushed them forward. The blast sections appearing here kicked the material into overdrive, and there are just enough of them to make their point without overstating it. Keyboards and clean guitars contribute to the atmosphere at inopportune moments, existing to enhance the songs without trying to drown anything out. What especially held my attention were the lead vocals. I’m not sure what effects if any are added, but there is a horrific quality to his voice that doesn’t sound like it had been tried before. Some sort of looping effect, or something to make them sound recorded backwards? It seems like some trade secret but it works well and the effect is chilling and creepy. The cover artwork and sleeve photography help set the tone as effectively as an intro would have; pitch black, cold and snow-covered. -Dave Wolff

Skuggan: Instruments, vocals, lyrics

1. Graven i skogen
2. Mörkret inne
3. I djävulens skuggan
4. Fördömde till avgrunden
5. En nattlig kamp
6. Den mörka lågan (instrumental)
7. Trolltjärn
8. Jonsereds strömmar
9. Kejsaren av ett svart rike 

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