Skogyr - _Skogyr_
(BadMoodMan Music / Solitude Productions, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
_Skogyr_ consists of four erroneously named chants and a cover of "Silent Hill", originally by Akira Yamaoka. The "chants" consist of a mid-length opener and three lengthy instrumental tracks of fuzzy post-Burzum paeans to nature and heathenry in the vein of Drudkh and Woodtemple.

Drumming is suitably minimal, occasionally bombastic, whilst the warm guitars enshroud the listener in a cocoon of warm rhythms. Keys are present but subtle, and do not detract from the organic nature of the album. Although I would have preferred a real drummer, the drum machine is passable, except towards the end of "Chant II", when a horribly artificial blastbeat emerges. Nature samples are present but superfluous -- he evokes the requisite atmosphere and samples suggest a lack of confidence.

Although highly repetitive, the album is never boring and wholly mesmerising. Skogyr is at least the second artist to do a version of "Silent Hill" -- the original must be a pretty good track. However, his style does not lend itself to the ominous atmospherics of Yamaoka's work and is easily the weakest number. Still, when the weakest track is a cover, you know you're on to something good.

It's not the first time this has been done, nor the last, and while it isn't a particularly excellent version such as Drudkh, it will be sufficient to tide the rune tossers until the next Drudkh full-length.

[As an aside, a video of "Chant I" is included, which is an evocative piece consisting of shots of a northern forest, reminiscent of Burzum's "Dunkelheit" video. No surprise there.]


(article published 22/6/2008)

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