Album Review: Skogen – “Vittra”


The black metal underground has been abuzz about Skogen for a few years. Having just released the group’s I Döden in 2014, Swedish label Nordvis is re-releasing the band’s 2009 debut, Vittra. Fans of raw atmospheres and earthy synths will rejoice upon discovering this solid back-catalogue gem, if they are one of the unfortunate many who missed it the first time around. Though their music is definitely rooted in the style that is frequently labeled as “Cascadian black metal,” the Swedish troupe’s approach brings gravelly vocals, more coherent melodies, and more dynamic structures to the table. Folk interludes are sparse, well-placed, and tasteful, while wonderfully eerie dungeon synths weave in and out of the mix for a natural ambience. The focus of the music is placed on pleasantly buzzy guitar work, while infrequent leads carry melodies that play off of the rhythms well. Vittra is less polished and less riff-focused than their more recent work, but it is easy to see the subtle evolution of the band over the past five years and four albums into the powerhouse that it was on I Döden. Skogen are a staple of the current wave of black metal, and their entire catalogue is highly recommended for fans of the genre’s nature-tinged offerings. (Jacob Katisficas)

Purchase Vittra here: Bandcamp | Physical

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