Wednesday 21 January 2015

Kjeld - Skym (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 2/3/2015
Label: Hammerheart Records

Skym’ CD//LP//DD track listing:

1). Tûzen Sinnen
2). Skym
3). Gerlofs Donia
4). Gjin Ferjouwing
5). Ús Grûn
6). Bonifatius
7). Baduhenna
8). Brek en Brân
9). Ivich Libben
10). Stoarm
11). Bern fan Freya

Kjeld is:

Tsjuster | Guitars
Kd | Guitars
Swerc | Bass
Fjildslach | Drums
Skier | Vocals


This is the first time Kjeld has crossed my path. I was told that the band are inspired by the ancient tradition and the lyrics are in the Frisian language, overall this is a refreshing change to the deeply rooted Scandinavian Black metal they play. I have listened to the record many times and in different environments, it is safe to say ‘Skym’goes well everywhere.

The album opener starts with hammering drums and as the singer starts to sing with the music building a melodic landscape, I am reminded of the melodic parts of Dimmu Borgir but without directly copying them. Kjeld present a magical blend to the music, together with inspiration from the early black metal scene and it works very well. The album continues with the title track, it’s a brutal onslaught but somewhere around the 2 minute mark the tempo goes down just to give the listener a chance to rest. Then it accelerates into the end with a cold, icy feeling and it leaves the listener gasping for breath.

The third track is a favourite of mine. Starting off, like they’re unleashing hell, the track floats seamlessly into a rich variety of the melodic guitar and the faint background synths, completed with trumpets, making the sound landscape familiar with the one we hear from Behemoth. The fourth track starts with a pierced guitar lead with a rampaging intensity and when the keyboard comes in, it casts an aura of dark beauty. It reminds me of the reason I love Black metal. My mind swept away to the smoggy Warfield where the soldiers lay waiting for the end. The vocalist’s snarl is definite highlight on the record.

Ús Grûn’ takes us back to the same feeling as the beginning of the record. A midtempo start to make the listener secure before speeding up. Nice furious drums with a lovely atmospheric guitar melody. The following songs are in the same vein as the other ones. Hoarse sawing guitars and as I said with a rampaging intensity sometimes mixed with an eerie atmospheric melody combined with shrieking and very nuanced and strong vocal performance

Skier’s vocals are placed in the background of the production but his shrieking and harsh vocal are still in the centre of the songs and it pierces your brain in the most delightful way. If you should listen to just one Black metal record of the year this could be the one because this is another Dutch fist in the face of God!

Words by: Sven-Åke Alveving

You can pick up a CD/LP copy here.

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