SKALD EN VEUM- Stridslysten
Crushing in from the arctic depths of Sweden, Skald en Veum arrives with their latest release on Rottweiler Records and Nordic Mission. Entitled Stridslysten, translated from Swedish, it means “fight” (if the Google translator is to be believed!). Stridslysten truly is a fast and furious barrage of extreme metal music, for those genre labeling black metal would fit the bill nicely.
They have been compared to Dark Funeral, 1349, Watain and Immortal. For myself I prefer bands of this type to have a direct and punchy production. Of course I realize that many prefer the ambience of the atmospheric with this genre of music, I for one do not. Putting it bluntly if it sounds like you’re singing (screeching) in a cave a million miles away from me chances are slim that I will listen.
Skald en Veum does not do that, they are direct and brutal. The album hits at Mach 5 and rarely lets up, yes there are some moments of atmosphere to develop a mood but the music isn’t lost in it. Several of the songs are in Swedish, but the majority is in English and the lyrics are not for the faint of heart. Pulling no punches Skald en Veum lays it out for all to hear, how about this from "As Wolves Among Sheep"
“These are the days of action, not for empty words
And words seem too much to ask of Christians in the west
Not able to speak out against the sin in the midst of the church”
“A sword to right the wrongs has become a blunt artifact
In the hands of the lame.
Our own western tribulation comes from within.
Emptiness and depravity.”
The band itself consists of Mund (vocals), Resh (drums and guitars) and Zhajiin (bass and guitars). An air of anonymity exists since they wear masks during their live performances. This element of the theatrical I hope they maintain, because it does provide mystery and wonder.
For myself, my favorite track on the album is the when they switch gears and slow the tempo down, "Goatwhore" is the closest thing to a “groove or hook” as it were. However those things are not really what black metal is about, musically. Yet this track stands out because they do slow the tempo down a bit, black ‘n’ roll? Perhaps. "Do What Thou Wilt" starts off with a slower pace to create some atmosphere and it does a good job with that. However it soon blasts off into light speed. "Shards of the Infernal Fall" has some solid riffs and some tempo changes through out, it definitely is another stand out track.
Undoubtedly this release will continue to sit atop amongst the best extreme metal releases of the year. This will be available in a limited CD release but also digital download.
Make no mistake Skald en Veum’s latest release Stridslysten isn’t for the faint of heart, but it will demand your attention once you put it on. Extreme metal at it’s finest, heavy, fast, and brutal. (Rottweiler Records/ Nordic Mission)