SKALD “Vitterland”

(Unexploded Records)
I can’t say I was impressed by Skald’s previous record. It felt like there was something missing, like they didn’t take it serious enough and just fooled around with no intention or direction. Instead of leaving me with a great folk metal record all I remember is how disappointed I was listening to that album. I usually don’t comment on the vocals because it isn’t necessary but this time I can’t help feeling that this is substandard. The vocals do not in any way fit the music. The talk-singing that the vocalist is doing most of the time should have been killed long before it got on record. With a more engaged song style this would have been up there with Ensiferum, Turisas and Finntroll in the folk metal forest. There are some highlights where Skald isn’t too bad (like “Häxhammaren”) that make up for the not so great stuff you have to go through in order to find the goodies. Much more of that stuff and with a more engaged singer “Vitterland” becomes another highlight in the folk metal genre. Though not as bad as I remembered them to be it still leaves a bit to be asked for. Anders Ekdahl

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