Skálmöld – “Baldur”

(Napalm Records)

Iceland is a contrasting land of fire and ice – even today volcanoes are active and erupting – so it’s easy to understand how legends of demons and dragons have risen thru the ages. Indeed, this bold debut is a concept album based on a Viking seeking bloody retribution against a not-of-this-world demon-like creature who murders his family! Despite all this Skálmöld are a newly formed band only 2 years old although each of the band’s 6 members come from a very different musical background and had been formerly active in other bands—not all metal. And that’s manifestly clear from songs like ‘Upprisa’, ‘Draumur’ and ‘Daudi’ that feature folk, choirs, metal and deep drawling Nordic sung vocals very much like Amon Amarth. The one constant theme that runs throughout the album is how Scandinavian everything is from the lyrics to the melodies and indeed theme. Bearing in mind that Icelandic is arguably the truest form of Norse dialect should give you an idea of this deep and captivating musical experience!

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