Walk with the rain. Dream in the dark clouds that sink low. The grey sky is your entire existence, and you warmly embrace the shadows that surround. You see a reflection of your old self in the dewy fog ahead, and you follow this strange menace.
Listening to Sweden black metal trio Skogen is like entering the void of some fantastical quagmire. Except you don’t fight with this complex maze that swallows you whole, rather, you pursue its leveling vision with force. A battery of lush atmospherics flows into your dimensional pattern. You can see yourself walking alone on a hill, and you are still. Skogen perform a tricky ritual: they’re equally excellent at raging righteous dark metal and performing hallucinatory alternations; the combo is uplifting, even in the drenched darkness it resides in.
The band’s October 7 re-release of the out-of-print classic Svitjod, is just in time for the upcoming winter. Svitjod originally came out in 2011, and is as compelling and mystically foreign now, as it was back then. Like waves that roll endlessly through individual expressions, the album delivers in a way folk songs might have back in 1874, in the midst of an endless storm, by a fire, in a small cabin, with whiskey, and bread. It’s a blue-collar masterpiece in a rainbow of hell.
There’s progressive extensions throughout, a slow doom that meditates on a high ridge, really cool solos all over the place, classical guitar that is played ridiculously beautifully, and a grimy interior that tears into the mindscape of the listener. As a trio, Skogen have a natural rhythm, an apex that bears fruit like a small punk plant. There’s a rough edge to these guys, and a spirit that soars. The music has a language that transcends, and you can walk through the rain and forests with pleasure, and simply wander. You’ll get to your eternal cabin, cut wood for the fire, have a drink, and transcend.