Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Skald of Morgoth - The Siege of Angband

Skald of Morgoth are relatively new band on the Polish black metal scene and here's their debut recording, which is "The Siege of Angband" album, released by Under the Sign of GarazelSkald of Morgoth is a Tolkien conceptual project, formed by members of such bands as Deathlust, Serpent Seed, Deep Desolation, Persecutor. It's been created by experienced musicians then... And well, I have to say that the first result of their cooperation is pretty enjoyable, but at the same time "The Siege of Angband" seems to be pretty controversial album and probably it won't be music for everyone. I suspect so anyway. 
What we have here are six pretty lengthy songs of music, which I think sounds pretty unconventional. I personally would have some difficulties to answer, if someone asked me "what other band would you compare Skald of Morgoth to?". On one hand I can hear pretty strong Greek black metal influence on "The Siege of Angband", but then everything sounds quite different and unique in my opinion. Skald of Morgoth managed to create rather original way of riffs style, the drumming is also pretty slow and it's almost doomy sometimes, but then fast parts appear in every song also, so it's pretty weird mixture sometimes. Generally everything sounds very raw and unpolished, even when the band plays some more melodic themes "The Siege of Angband" is very specific with its dark and obscure atmosphere. Certainly "The Birth of Gaurung" is the best song from the entire program. I like how it evolves and how it gives you a feeling of something pretty primitive, but at the same time can bring some of the best melodic parts from the whole CD. Also the second track "We Are Olog Hai! (The Troll's March)" sounds pretty damn cool. The rest of the album is of the same or similar quality, but the thing is that after a while all these songs melt into one, so personally I remembered the most these two opening tracks. 
I do have some complains for the whole "The Siege of Angband". One would definitely be monotony, which destroys a lot of the effect. These songs are all around seven minutes long, "Heil Morgoth!" is even ten minutes long, and I have to say that Skald of Morgoth didn't build their songs in too much interesting way. Too often they base their music on similar type of monotonous mid-paced rhythm and some sloppy riffs with one dimensional, shrieking vocals. The result has to bring unpleasant boredom and lack of further interest. Also the whole record has quite messy and sort of primitive character, which maybe isn't a big problem, but with 45 minutes on the clock you just want to hear a bit more interesting and possessing stuff. While I did manage to find some fragments, which sound excellent and I can surely admit that Skald of Morgoth had some good ideas for some arrangements or riffs, then too often their music also sounds just mediocre and forgettable. Especially towards the end of the album the tension goes down and it all becomes just not impressive. So, the general feeling, which I have for "The Siege of Angband" is diverse. I like some of the parts of the album, but some other are just average. It's not as easy album, it's not something what will speak to everyone or will be immediately catchy and memorable. Give it a chance if you like your black metal to sound harsh and truly dark, but don't expect much fireworks from it. 
Standout track: "The Birth of Gaurung" 
Final rate: 60/100 

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