Album: Börn Loka
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Viking metal
Hailing from Iceland, Skálmöld released their second album Börn Loka in the fall of 2012. Börn Loka tells the story of siblings Hilmar and Brynhildur, with Hilmar wanting to become a Viking warrior and needing to pass a whole lot of adventures.
Börn Loka is drenched in Nordic mythology, sung in Icelandic, and a full choir and vocalist Edda Tegeder were added to the compositions – all ingredients for an epic Viking musical saga.
Skálmöld produce a rather untypical type of viking metal, with less folk elements and more dark metal influences and hints of black metal into their sound. The resulting work is by times similar to very early work by Therion (pre-Theli).
Börn Loka brings us more to a past realm in the Nordic countries, where tales of despair and great perils loom in the dense forests, rather than to viking ships and battle hymns. The original take of Skálmöld on the viking metal genre is something that I can very much appreciate.
The album opens with “Odinn” and “Sleipnir”, very symphonic and epic work that is similar to Therion's Theli, albeit a little less dark. Other highlights of Börn Loka include “Fenrisulfur” with it's polka rhythm, black metal screams and virtuose guitar solos, “Narfi” and it's great use of the choir and the final track “Loki”, with it's dark groove and angsty vocals.
With Börn Loka Skálmöld have shown that they are a creative and mystical band that compose music with a distinct atmosphere. All lovers of the darker metal genres, as well as folk/pagan/viking metal should check out this album and it's great cross-over style!
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