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Skaur

Skaur

by Skaur

Band Members:

Normann - Vocals / Guitar
Simon Larsen - Bass / Vocals
Ivel - Guitar
Hetzler - Drums

Today we travel through the pristine fjords of Norway to discover a band called Skaur. This black metal band has been around since 2003 and released a handful of demos. They sent me a copy of their latest self titled album, 'Skaur' for review. I've never heard them before today and am keen to indulge in some Nordic metal so let's get into it!

 

Fullmaanesang – Atmospheric sounds lure us into this album only to be met by a wall of distortion. A melody forges its way through the noise to set the scene for this folk laden black metal. This is quite a long track at 07:03 and I am entranced the whole way through. The recording of this album has the overall sound of old school black metal recordings for the most part, but there are melodic/folky parts which have the required clarity to balance it all out. The vocals are of a gruesome, blackened style with a smooth edge to them. I should note the vocals are all sung in Norwegian. At 05:13 there is a vocal shift to where they are gently sung in a clean style but this is soon corrected with those blackened vocals again. For such an epic piece, it has been well constructed. It is a great introduction to the band and to this album.

“Livets gloed brenner sakte ut, Alderdommen tynger, Sykdom herjer utslitt kropp, En gammel sti opp fjellets topp...”

 

Nordnorsk Svartmetall – If I thought the last track was long, I stand corrected as this one goes for a lengthy 10:46. It starts out distorted and overwhelming. It is like waves of sound crashing in over you but in a comforting way. The vocals kick in at around 02:00. The melody behind it all is almost hypnotic amidst all the distortion. It is perhaps what makes it so deceivingly comforting. The beauty of this style of music is that it sends you off into other realms within your mind and sets your imagination soaring. You can wield swords against mighty giants or ride over plains alongside your army or sail the seas in search of lands to plunder. At about 05:40 there is a musical shift and things start to quiet down. A harmonious duet of death vocals and clean vocals relay a beautiful melody. At 06:53 it comes to an abrupt end with what may as well be a hoard of demons putting a stop to it all. And so continues the blackened feast in all its fury and splendour. It is overall another epic and enchanting track.

“Solhjul senket bak kjente fjell, Nordavind pisker kystlandskap, Vinter herjer havoerns rike, Sjoemanns land...”

 

Heimfar – Again we are given the chance to sail through the fjords as we are enraptured by the sounds of Skaur for the duration of 08:04. Though, one shouldn’t feel too at ease with this song as it is filled with plenty of curious twists and turns. There are sounds of struggle and sounds of conflict. However you take it, you will certainly find yourself entertained with whatever it is this music plants in your imagination. Even with any musical shifts it is always easy to follow and enjoy. The instruments are not all evenly heard as the drums are set well back behind everything else. At times they are brought forward but most of the time they are set back. Regardless, I think it works well and is another good track.

“Galskap og sorg, Harme og noed, Mare og trolldom, Blodelv og doed, Villskapens ande, Ukristen kropp, Fredloes og sjeleloes, Brent og forhatt, Groedens metaforer skriver doedens poesi…”

 

Om Sorg Og Helvete – The good thing about this music, is that it is the music which tells the tale and not simply the lyrics. It is the music which guides you through the journey with the vocal as a complimentary aspect. The sound relayed in this one is as if it is searching for something or trying to find the right direction. It is a furious sound, much like when one is anxious. It may well be the duration of this being 05:11 that everything seems more compact or intense. Though I am sure you would find your own rendition to it all upon hearing it. I will note that you can make out some of the words as you listen to it, but a lot of it is undecipherable even when knowing Norwegian.

“Et skrik flyr med vinden, Da ilden tennes, Hoerer du, husker du? Foldede hender, Smerten forblir, Tung er byrden alle baerer, Grufulle pinsler tvang fram loegn, Jeg kan ennu se ild fortaere, De uskyldige piger…”

 

Skaur – Here we have another lengthy track at 07:53 and the introduction to this one is twisted.  There are variations in the tone at the beginning which suggest something sinister is lurking. Everything is slightly off key. As the music continues things seem to straighten up and flow as per normal. At about 03:30 the music calms and relays an acoustic melody until 04:36 when the blackened vocals blaze in to the track once more. The music towards the end is a bit scrambled but still followable. It’s got a scattered feel to the overall song but you can still find yourself soaring inside the imagination.

“Himmelhvelv bloer i nattetimer, Kystvind synger Nordland i soevn, Skogheims vokter hilser traver, Vardfjell vaaker gjemte gaver, Glemte graver i Bodvin´s mark…”

 

Midnattsol – This final song is an instrumental track which is comprised of a gentle guitar melody.

 

In essence, Skaur have created an epic, atmospheric, folk infused, black metal album. It will send your imagination soaring. The CD I received is the in-store version. On the front cover is a picture of a Nordic village by the sea. Inside are all the lyrics. On the back inner page is the band info and on the very back is an emblem style picture with the band’s website address below. On the very back of the CD covering is an unnumbered track listing placed over another scenic, Nordic village. The CD itself bears the graphic of a tree. Basically, if you like atmospheric black metal then I think you're going to enjoy this, so do yourself a favour and check them out on the links below.

skaur

 LINKS

Skaur Website

Skaur Facebook

Skaur Myspace

 

 

Review by Déa di Morté © 19 October 2011
All pictures courtesy of Skaur