SKOGEN - Skuggorna Kallar
Release date May 25/18 (Nordvis)
Here we have the fifth full length from Swedish blackened folk unit Skogen (Swedish for "the forest"). Stripping this down to its essentials, at the core is a blackened doom atmosphere created by the dirge-like riffs, with vocal harmonies, acoustic accouterments and even keyboards (on one track), giving it its folk flavour. Some black cackle and death growls are also inserted, sung in English and their native Swedish, giving it some added heft.
There are two standout tracks here that warrant attention. 'Nebula' contains a mournful riff that is driven to parched earth, juxtaposed by a beautiful recurring acoustic guitar refrain, bringing the listener back from the brink of despair. Folk metal perfection. Elsewhere, the epic eight minute 'Beneath The Trees' has a slightly faster tempo, with an acoustic guitar mid-section, breaking the song into three neatly comprised sections. Would love to hear even more of this type of duality in upcoming releases.
Kinda reminds me of a cross between Falkenbach and Woods Of Ypres. Good stuff.