SKALD – in veum – “1260 Days”


1260 Days (SKALD)Skald in veum emerges from the unknown to release their brand of intense Scandinavian black metal.  Hearkening back to bands like Antestor and Crimson Moonlight, this is a sound and fury that has been in short supply of late.

Bands with an air of mystery about them can be intriguing.  I remember back when Demon Hunter was just rumored to be an all-star project with unnamed band members and I remember trying to figure out who was in the band after hearing the demo version of “Through the Black” on a Solid State sampler.  Much is the same with Skald in veum.  We know partial band member names and a mention of the band in liner notes from a Crimson Moonlight ep, but really not much more.  Apparently there is a lost demo out there somewhere by Skald,  as they were know then, that dates back to before 1999, and some mention of them likely playing some local shows in 2007 but nothing with any real substance to it.  Skald in veum (new name) returned to action in 2013 and was signed to Rottweiler Records with a mission for:

baptism of the masses by intense and relentless metal, cutting through the hoards of the less-than-Holy with a keenly honed metallic blade forged in the frostiest and most barren winters Earth has to offer, yet ablazed with unbridled passion and unrelenting energy. 

So, we have a band of unknown people from the dark, wintry Scandinavian region of Europe that plays black metal.  Seems fitting the opening track, “Ravens over Lübenholz,“ which is really an intro, features ravens cawing during a windy, wintry sounding storm. “Drunk with Tainted Blood” comes in immediately after with a driving and droning guitar riff characteristic of black metal.  Fast double bass and blast beats provide the backdrop to the gnarled, raspy, screamed vocals.  Somewhat interesting in the production is that the often tinny sound of black metal has been replaced here with more of a balanced sound.  While distinct bass and really drums are not overly obvious, there is a much heavier low end rumble to the sound that provides some darkness to the feel.

Thankfully for many, Skald in veum have made their first video a lyric one and is for the song “Inferno,” as it provides an easier way to figure out the lyrics which admittedly can be a challenge for many types of metal.  The song itself is said to have been written by Heth after reading Dante’s Divine Comedy and the rather creepy video was done by Karl Walfridsson of Panktokrator.  The song again features the fast, freight train-like rumbling bass and drums with the fast, drill-like guitars and vocals over the top.  As a song, this one comes in over six minutes and has several different sections.  After the first verse section there is an almost melodic chorus that leads in to a slower, sludgy section, only to speed back up and end with the faster chorus like section from earlier only the have the music stop, leaving only the raspy, gurgling vocals of “…Set Me Free.”

One aspect to the overall sound of Skald in veum that helps set them apart is the incorporation of melodic parts within their songs.  The opening of “Eden Raped” is the best example of this on the ep but melodic sections can be found in all of the songs.  Also of note for “Eden Raped” is the presence of the bass in the opening section and the clearness of the drums, which sets this song apart from the others.  “Until My Head Rolls” also features some unexpected melodic driving sections scattered amid the more traditional black metal riffs and blast beats, and just when it seems like the closing track “Siaren” will be straight black metal, the band slows things down into more of a driving, straight metal riff.

Black metal performed in this style with this level of skill and production quality is relatively rare.  Skald in veum have managed to incorporate their own style and some influences outside of black metal in with the traditional black metal sounds to craft a great album. Compared to other black metal albums, I appreciate the relative stripped down sound as it lets the intensity of the performance come through.  1260 Days has a furious feel to it, like the band is trying to prove something and to that, they certainly make an impression.

Written by John Jackson

Rating: 8.5/10

1. Ravens over Lübenholz
2. Drunk with Tainted Blood
3. Inferno
4. Eden Raped
5. Until My Head Rolls
6. Siaren

Band Members:
Mund – Vocals
Resh – Guitars, drums
Zhajiin – Guitars, bass
Heth – Spiritual leader and ideologist

Record Label: Rottweiler Records/Sky Burns Black Records, 2015

Weblinks: Facebook

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Lyric video for ‘Inferno’


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