Skjold – 14 Years Hell
Reviewed by Oct 22nd, 2009

Because my musical tastes are notoriously inbred, and because I am saddened by the delay of the new Blodarv mini CD, I hunted this down, a Danish raw black metal band with two of the members of Blodarv (Hugin and Huul) which I have heard terrible things about (again, I am a glutton for sonic punishment). After listening to this, I’m not sure why I heard terrible things about it, but certainly Blodarv is a bit more polished and more easily accessible, though the two bands can’t really be directly compared; they are too different. Skjold formed in 1994 and while I’m not sure I’d use the term “greatest hits,” this is sort of a compilation of most of the stuff they released in those fourteen years (of hell?) and is limited to 666 copies.

If you get past the rather harsh production, some of this is actually memorable; this band has its moments too, such as “Battlefire” and “Kirkebrand.” It’s all super fuzzy and distorted, weird samples in some songs, sound effects, church bells (”Valhalla Venter” is especially weird, with a flute or something playing through it). My biggest complaints: some of the songs are a bit too long and begin to wear out their welcome, especially with a couple of rather long song intros. All the songs are pretty good though.

Despite the higher pitched screaming, “Kirkebrand” is probably my favorite song on here, the riff sound awesome. There is also a cover of Darkthrone’s “Transsilvanian Hunger” which I’m sort of conflicted about. On the one hand, there is nothing wrong with it, except I imagine the long noisy intro could grate some people’s nerves. It’s fairly faithful to the original, too faithful perhaps, and I find that I’d rather just listen to Darkthrone. At the two and a half minute mark, the song starts up, and it manages to be even more distorted sounding than DT’s version. I like Hugin’s scream at six and a half minutes in, but somehow that’s also my favorite bit of the original. Again, nothing wrong with it, it just doesn’t have much innovation as a cover, either. Listening to it a few more times, it has grown on me on a bit though. Not a bad CD, not something I’d listen to every day, either.

Skjold @ Myspace

Ewiges Eis Records


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