Skogen (SE)
Vittra


3.5
great

Review

by Ethereal Space Yogurt USER (205 Reviews)
December 30th, 2009 | 33 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A perfect winter record when slogging it through the woods, drinking merrily with your favorite companions or killing wild animals in an attempt to reclaim your heritage.

In an effort to return to the music reviewing fold that I once loved, I’ve chosen to write about an album that invokes many a feeling about pagan ceremonies, ancient battles, and getting drunk off of mead. This album, Vittra, the debut from a young Swedish outfit entitled Skogen, satisfies every primal urge in my Irish heathen mind and body. Skipping the demo stage and releasing a full length album in the same year that Skogen is quite an impressive feat, but one could expect sloppy musicianship and unstructured/uninspired songwriting to plague the debut of the band. That is not the case here as J. Svensson and M. Nilsson have meticulously crafted a debut to remember in Vittra.

Combining atmospheric, mid paced black metal with acoustic interludes ala October Falls and backing atmospheric keyboards similar to Agalloch, Skogen isn’t quite as original in scope as the bands they’ve borrowed from, but nonetheless provide a compelling listen for anyone who’s interested in neo-folk or well produced black metal. Vittra is a primarily riff driven album, consisting of droning Drudkh like chord progressions that reach a peak of epicness more often than not. Vocals are mostly performed in a harsh raspy manner but occasionally clean singing is present. As for the acoustic guitar sections, they are littered throughout one minute and a half instrumentals as well as some of the more expansive tracks. Like I previously said, this style of metal has been done before but Skogen introduce enough talent and heart in their respective instruments to make this an enjoyable listening session. Especially if you’re sitting by a roaring fire with a bottle or two of Norwegian Wood or spiced mead by your side.

Out of the seven tracks on this record, Skogen devote the same amount of attention and detail to each one as to make every one equal in strength and interesting. This means no filler so that’s a plus. But it also means there’s no real standout either. However, Vittra is an album best enjoyed when listening to the whole thing rather than just a song or two. The album follows a structured, mid tempo formula for the most part but atmospheric keyboards and funereal guitar melodies help break up the monotony when things start to gel together. Nature influenced sound effects and acoustic strumming also complement the backing instrumentation to help keep the album together. The music displayed here doesn’t appear to be very technical but nonetheless I’m still impressed by the duo’s workman like ability to put together a solid debut. Professionalism is hard to find but these guys nail it.

Those folks that are curious about black metal but not exactly thrilled by the rawness and hate of the second wave scene will find a lot to like here. 1. The vocals aren’t overly extreme or pretentious. *** that wailing bull*** yo. 2. The album is highly melodic at times, contains many instrumental passages, and filled with catchy riffs. 3. The production is really clean, as in audible bass and distuniashable drums and vocals. The elitists might not like this record, but *** em. Overall, Vittra is a solid debut record that should appeal to fans of Agalloch, Ikuinen Kaamos, October Falls, Drudkh and later Empyrium.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Relinquished
December 30th 2009


26013 Comments


Just youtube'd a few songs. Not bad really, Eld is a great track.

BallsToTheWall
December 30th 2009


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Better than Woods Of Ypres that's for sure. I Thought their new record was great but the lyrics suck on the Green Album so much.

TheSpirit
December 30th 2009


18002 Comments


Sweet this sound good. The Agalloch comparison is what got me. Great review as well.

Digging: The Speed of Sound in Seawater - Red Version

Relinquished
December 30th 2009


26013 Comments


Better than Woods Of Ypres that's for sure.

Agreed.

Zoo
December 30th 2009


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I guess you liked this a bit more than me, haha. I'd rec you something else from my list but it looks like you'll work through it just fine on your own.

BallsToTheWall
December 30th 2009


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, it's just a matter of time. Either I'll get far or my computer will break trying. In the last few months of furious blogging, my computer speed has grown increasingly slower with each day.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2009


16486 Comments


I'll youtube a few songs, see what I think of this.

Skipping the demo stage and releasing a full length album in the same year that Skogen is quite an impressive feat

There should be "formed" after "the same year that Skogen"

TheEnforcer
December 31st 2009


270 Comments


Review is lacking in various paragraph structure and you're fairly lacking on sound details, neg'd.

Relinquished
December 31st 2009


26013 Comments


wow...

TheSpirit
December 31st 2009


18002 Comments


Uhm.

Zoo
December 31st 2009


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If you enjoy critiquing reviews, there's certainly a whole hell of a lot more that are in dire need of your expertise than this one.

ov420
December 31st 2009


300 Comments


if this review was a shelf it wud collapse cuz its structure sux

TheEnforcer
December 31st 2009


270 Comments


Thank you I will be reading a fair amount of reviews over the next few days and ov420, my thought
exactly.

rasputin
December 31st 2009


14555 Comments


introduction thesis statement paragraph paragraph perhaps another conclusion w/ restatement of thesis

Relinquished
December 31st 2009


26013 Comments


what we were taught in middle school

ameypv
December 31st 2009


807 Comments


gotta dig this

BallsToTheWall
December 31st 2009


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I knew somebodys had it out for me these past few feviews, guess it was strawberry bitch and ov420. You do what you have to do, i'm not interested in professionalism.

Wizard
December 31st 2009


19644 Comments


Review is lacking in various paragraph structure and you're fairly lacking on sound details, neg'd.

You must be a fucking retard or a really horrible troll. Please take your pick because I've been dying to rip someone apart lately.

I have no idea what that kid above me was thinking, but the review is perfect in terms of structure/ grammar etc. I would have checked this out on a normal day Balls, but this sub-genre has been completely soured because of Solefald.

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

BallsToTheWall
December 31st 2009


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

All you have to do is youtube Wizard. It's worth it. Also, you plan on reviewing that Pyramids album?

Hawks
December 31st 2009


35837 Comments


I just listened to Eld and it was fucking great. This is just another album I'm going to have to check out. Also this album seems perfect for this time of year because folk/black metal is always great for the winter.



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