SKOGSANDE / DARKEATER Split CD (Wolfspell Records CD 2016)
Not a long ago I had a pleasure to hear “Иней чёрного рассвета”, very good debut album from Russian black metal band Darkeater. Now they’re back coming with their new recording, which Wolfspell Records released as a split CD with Skogsande.
And about Skogsande I will write first. I had to dig a little, to find some information on this project, as it turns out Skogsande is not metal enough to be on Metal Archives haha. What I found out is that it’s another project of Nokken, who is also responsible for Is (which I already know from the split CD with Hermóðr). And Is was very good. Skogsande is OK, but honestly I don’t like it as much as Is. On this CD you’ll find three tracks (all are titled “Vintervindarnas tillhall”, but I don’t know why Nokken uses Swedish, instead of his native language), which can be described as ambient black metal. The dark ambient side is typical – melancholic, sorrowful passages of keyboards that some of you probably don’t tolerate and consider boring, and some others like a lot. I’m somewhere in between, sometimes I like to play such sort of music, but Skogsande’s ambient is just nothing special. It’s very much like Vinterriket for instance, it’s good in small doses, but in more extensive presentation I can die because of the boredom. Skogsande mixes that dark ambient with black metal. And black metal is usually very fast, furious, hateful… What I don’t like about this part of Skogsande music is the lack of ideas and general one dimensional, monotonous playing that doesn’t impress. And more so, it’s also the production, because the keyboards are definitely way too loud and they just sound out of place with the wall of buzzy guitars, unreadable riffs, furious screams and blasting drums. Don’t get me wrong, Skogsande isn’t bad, but surely not something I would be delighted with.
And now Darkeater. Their “Иней чёрного рассвета” CD was awesome, very good black metal album. Here they present their new EP “Янтарный погост”, which is another fine release from Darkeater. First there’s another ambient track that creates the cold, melancholic atmosphere for six minutes before the title song appears. This is raw sounding black metal with that characteristic cold, sorrowful and eerie aura. The pace is much slower than in Skogsande, but the production is better, so are the ideas, arrangements and diversity of this song. I really like it and again am quite impressed with the works of these two guys behind Darkeater.
Summing it all up then, I have to say that if I was going to describe the roster of Wolfspell Records, in what sort of music this label specializes in, then it would be with bands like Skogsande and Darkeater. This sort of dark, melancholic and gloomy black / ambient metal appears on this label most often. Of course some releases are better (Hermóðr stuff, previous Darkeater CD), some worse (Dun, Paths). This particular split CD is not bad also, but not my favourite one. I’m glad though to have a copy and surely will come back to it sooner or later.
Final rate: 65/100