[Review] Skald in Veum – 1260 Days
Skald In Veum is a Swedish black metal band whose origin seems mysterious. Although the metal archives would have them listed as a band that began in 2013, the band has a claim to fame in being mentioned by Crimson Moonlight’s Eternal Emperor album credits – which was when Skald In Veum was only known as Skald. It is safe to say from 1998 to 2013 the band was not really active.
Thankfully, 2015 sees the debut of this band in the form of 1260 Days, an EP with an intro and five tracks. The band keeps an old school, second-wave black metal sound, but with a fair amount of speed behind the songs. From this EP, it is clear that Skald In Veum has no intentions of taking influences from outside the genre of black metal. The music, as I would almost stereotypically expect, is produced with a raw production quality. However, at least with this band it is clear that this quality is done on purpose and not because they recorded the EP in their bedroom. The instruments and vocals are clear and quite well-balanced — even the bass stands out, which is usually not common in black metal. There are some inconsistencies in the recordings, yet they are so minor it really wouldn’t be an issue to the picky black metal listeners. For example, the double bass seems to have more of a clicking sound on some tracks than others. This is probably due to the band recording songs over a longer period of time rather than all at once. It does create a mystery over how they recorded the drums, whether with samples or not. Generally many bands, even deliberately raw bands, will use triggers on the double bass. However, if there are triggers on 1260 Days, it is not obvious. Either way, Resh proves to be an excellent drummer with decent patterns, fast double bass and good hand work. Oddly enough, Resh also plays guitar in the band alongside Zhajiin. I am not sure what that means for their live performances, but on the EP the guitars can be quite catchy.
I will find myself thinking on some of the riffs long after a spin of the EP. Although some of the time they can lack a bit of variety, it is not that often. The one thing that the EP lacks guitar-wise, is lead guitar — yet given the band’s stance on genre, I doubt they will be playing solos any time soon. The lack of lead guitar does not take the atmosphere away from the album, however it would be interesting to hear what Skald In Veum could do with some lead. Zhajiin also plays bass for the ep, again I don’t know if that means the band plays live shorthanded or what, but the bass is bouncy and fitting on this release. As for the last member of this band, Heth, his role is not entirely clear. On the band’s Facebook page, it says that Heth is their spiritual leader and ideologist. So I gather Heth must be involved in writing the lyrics. The main theme of the lyrics are Judeo-Christian; the band intends to have an evangelistic theme used, although also picking up influences from authors such as Dante Alighieri. I can perhaps see Skald In Veum doing a concept full length next.
Overall, 1260 Days is a promising debut; it has all the main qualities an avid black metal listener would be interested in, from atmosphere to blasting brutality.
I would give this album 79 out of 100.
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