Vittra (Reissue)


Originally released in 2009, the debut album from Swedish Black Metallers SKOGEN will once again […]
By Andrew Sifari
May 17, 2015
Skogen - Vittra (Reissue) album cover

Originally released in 2009, the debut album from Swedish Black Metallers SKOGEN will once again see the light of day. Released through Nordvis Produktion, the reissue of "Vittra" captures the essence of the band's surreal and atmospheric style as it was in the band's beginning.

For those unfamiliar with the band, SKOGEN's brand of Black Metal is a lot less abrasive and bombastic than most of their peers, with an emphasis on body-immersing ambiance and warm melodies. The fire and brimstone that burns unwaveringly in bands like BEHEMOTH and DARK FUNERAL is replaced with a more sublime, nature-focused view ("Skogen" is Swedish for 'the forest'). As a result, It makes for an almost relaxing experience by Metal standards, without compromising much in terms of heaviness. Songs like "Dimfärd" and "Ur Mörkret Hon Kommer" wash over the listener with their poignant atmospheres and cascading melodies, and play like musical journeys down winding, windswept roads. "Eld" makes great use of acoustic guitars as it opens on a soft yet foreboding note before dissolving into a swirl of darkness and despair. Even if you can't understand the hoarsely-delivered lyrics, which are entirely in Swedish, the music itself has this kind of poetic air to it that makes it feel more intelligent and substantial than similar music that gets lumped into the Folk/Black Metal category.

Of course, the lack of explosiveness or overall "wow" factor is more noticeably because of the sheer length of the album. Sometimes the music goes by quickly, as on the aforementioned "Eld," but other times, I found my attention drifting elsewhere before looking back at the music player and saying "This song is really only halfway over?" It has nothing to do with quality, but rather with taste. Fans who need more engagement in their music might find themselves similarly distractible, while those with the patience to absorb the album's layers of sound will probably find a lot to enjoy here. While "Vittra" isn't very exciting in the normal sense, it commands a huge presence with its emphatic approach to song crafting.

A well-written and captivating release, "Vittra" is sure to satisfy fans of less extreme, melodically-inclined Black Metal.

8 / 10


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"Vittra (Reissue)" Track-listing:

1. Dimfärd
2. Skuggorna kallar
3. Eld
4. Ur mörkret hon kommer
5. Höst
6. Vålnaden
7. Skymning
8. Under fullmånens sken
9. I Skogens djup

Skogen Lineup:

Joakim Svensson - Vocals, guitars, bass
Mathias Nilsson - Vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards

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