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Monday, April 11, 2016

Skoll - Grisera

Artist: Skoll
Release Title: Grisera
Year: 2013 (Original Ewiges Eis Records version)/2014 (Fallen-Angel Productions reissue)
Label: Ewiges Eis Records (original version)/Fallen-Angel Productions (reissue)
Genre: Pagan Black Metal
Original Version-
1. Grush
2. Grisera
3. Hrothaharijaz
4. Wolves in the Mist

Reissue Version-
1. Grush
2. Grisera
3. Hrothaharijaz
4. Wolves in the Mist
5. The Bard

The second full black metal album from Italian pagan black metallers Skoll features a rather decent and enjoyable take on the style which gives this some rather enjoyable times here. Based rather fervently on the notion of the swirling tremolo picked rhythms that are wrapped together in sprawling, majestic patterns dosed with plenty of sporty woodlands-flavored arrangements and interludes that give it a naturalistic touch like the best of the pagan style albums here. The nature sounds here coming from the riff-work is further augmented by the use of spacious, sprawling keyboards that pop up throughout here which manages to get an even more overt pagan sound in combination of that kind of swirling rhythms and it’s a patently dynamic example of this style. However, this style inadvertently becomes it’s own worst enemy when it tends to become all the more obvious here that this riffing style is repeated ad nauseum to the point of becoming one-dimensional for the most part. The epic length of the tracks simply causes this one to keep the songs going around in pretty repetitive patterns keeps this one tuned into that ability as well, featuring the kind of arrangements to get to that sort of style of extended style, and does tend to lower this one somewhat slightly.

The first half here gives this a stylish look at what’s on display. The opening epic ‘Grush’ offers light melancholic acoustic guitar riffing alongside ambient nature sounds turns into raging simplistic tremolo riffing featuring plenty of clattering drum-work over the majestic airy keyboards that leave the extended atmospheric instrumental interlude with a return to the raging riffing and extended rhythms throughout the overlong final half which starts this off in grandiose, epic fashion. The title track uses winding rhythms and plenty of springy bass-lines with melodic buzzing tremolo rhythms throughout as the folk-like ambiance continues swirling throughout as the up-tempo riffing gives way to melancholic acoustics and howling winds limping along through the finale for a still enjoyable effort. ‘Hrothaharijaz’ takes stylish mid-tempo riffing and grandiose keyboards alongside clattering drumming though a stylish mid-tempo pace with occasional bursts of thumping, galloping drumming alongside the swirling riff-work and pagan-styled keyboards leading through the final half for the album’s overall highlight effort.

The second half isn’t all that bad and has some solid moments. ‘Wolves in the Mist’ uses light acoustic guitars before turning into a steady mid-tempo series of swirling tremolo riffing through the simplistic patterns accompanied with simple charging drumming and frosty pagan keyboards swirling around the sprawling, plodding tempos full of melodic rhythms throughout the final half for a decent enough effort here. Lastly, bonus track ‘The Bard’ features stylish mid-tempo riffing and rumbling rhythms through a plodding, mid-tempo pace with churning riff-work throughout as the stylish keyboards continually buzzing along into the lighter tempos bring about the plodding paces with the churning rhythms continuing through the finale for a well-deserved skippable bonus that ends this rather weakly.

While it tends to meander around a bit too much for it’s own good, there’s enough to really like here with this decidedly one-note pagan black metal experience that it really shouldn’t be that much of a challenge to those interested in the experience or find this kind of minimalist black metal appealing.

Score: 80/100

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