Skálmöld

Skálmöld – Vögguvísur Yggdrasils Review

Skálmöld – Vögguvísur Yggdrasils Review

Vögguvísur Yggdrasils is the fourth full-length from Iceland’s most (only?) notable Viking metal band, Skálmöld. I’ve formerly criticized this genre tag in my review of the album’s predecessor but ultimately conceded that it was a neater way of describing the number of influences at play in their energetic interpretation of Northern European mythology.” Let your blood eagle fly.

Skálmöld – Með vættum Review

Skálmöld – Með vættum Review

“I dislike ‘Viking metal’ as a descriptor. It’s a vague term which alludes to lyrical content above the music itself. It can entail black or folk metal-derived darkness (Bathory), epic doom (Atlantean Kodex), raucous melodeath (Amon Amarth), and even power metal (Týr). Iceland’s Skálmöld falls somewhere between Amon Amarth‘s melodeath and the galloping triple-axe attack of Iron Maiden, stopping off at black metal for its raw tone and dabbling in doom for its long songs. See, wasn’t that easier than just ‘Viking metal’?” It is easier, but then Wotan will smite us.

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Skálmöld – Börn Loka

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Skálmöld – Börn Loka

On the surface, Börn Loka, the second album from Iceland’s Skálmöld, is a high energy, beer-soaked celebration of Viking heritage. Sing-along choruses (if you speak Icelandic) overlay hooky riffs and power-metal leads in a combination that is readily accessible to mainstream audiences. (The band recently played an all-ages show in Reykjavík that was heavily attended by the under-10 set.) Fortunately, triple guitars and primary vocalist Björgvin’s sandblast roars keep the sound heavier than what you get from folksters like Korpiklaani, even when the atmosphere of Viking fraternity threatens to turn into an Alestorm-level schtick.