Norrsköld

Reflections Of The Night Sky

Written by: MN on 30/05/2014 13:29:57

Upon the release of their first EP, "Blessings Of Winter", Norrsköld captured my attention by not only producing some extremely sharp black/death metal, but the acoustic guitar interludes and passages make Norrsköld just that bit more original in the bulk of bands in the same genre. Being the brainwork of metal mastermind Henrik Bodin-Skjold, Norrsköld's music is inspired by the icy north and the mythology/folklore that it inspires. "Blessings Of Winter" garnered commendable acclaim from Rockfreaks because it presented six songs of great variation and a pleasant regard for melody on an otherwise fierce black metal soundscape, often characterized with unsettling minor chord progressions and high pitched screams. Additionally, the band impressed by its attention to good production. Especially the drums are produced to sound penetrative and full-bodied, as if you're lying next to the bassdrum. With the release of the debut full-length "Reflections Of The Night Sky", Norrsköld continue with the succesful formula, but allow for more instrumental songs and thus provide a rollercoaster ride in intensity throughout the ten-track record.

"Into Death" opens the album with some beautiful acoustic guitar work, followed by the theatrical "Upon These Fields", a very complex track that takes a while to digest, but eventually one will take notice of the meticulous work put into the track. As mentioned earlier, the cacophony is retired in place of some two-three minute long instrumental interludes, which could easily feature on a Andy McKee record. It is this respect for classic guitar and the instrument's raw nature that makes Norrsköld interesting. One of the strongest tracks is without a doubt "Northern Lights" which starts off in the most menacing manner, but eventually the blastbeats are retired for a bridge segment which develops the song almost like a Maiden track as the guitar interplay becomes the focus. It develops to have a tinge of post-rock in the mixture. In fact, a lot of Norrsköld's work is highly guitar-driven. "Blackened Sun" and "A Cold And Silent End" are both essentially melodic death metal tracks, very reminiscent of some Children Of Bodom and at times, In Flames.

It's easy to conclude that I especially enjoy Norrskölds work, primarily because it is well produced, classically inspired and a great combination of both black and death metal. It must however be noted that Norrsköld may not be the most easily digestable and "ear-clinging" of the lot, therefore their presence may remain underground, but for sure they will be one of the most respected within that sphere of influence. Well done again to these Swedish lads who managed a fierce and totally complete debut record.

9

Download: A Cold And Silent End, Blackened Sun, Northern Winds
For The Fans Of: Children Of Bodom, Stormlord, Deals Death
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 16.05.2014
Self-released


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