Skognatt – Ancient Wisdom (2018)

Skognatt

Ancient Wisdom

Independent

Even though already perfectly observed by our fine partners in Metal Trenches, I decided to give my thoughts on the new Skognatt album as well.As the name implies, this is the full-length version of the Ancient Wisdom EP (which would probably have been better titled something else, in order to prevent confusion) and includes four more full-length songs from the artist. As I have already focused on the first two cuts (the title track and Xibalba) in a previous review of the EP, we will begin our focus on “World Apart” which continues the familiar progressive atmospheric vibe that the artist has been known for, while keeping the folk instruments that made the EP stand out so well.

Danijel Zambo’s vocals come off with a thick rasp, which is appreciated within the airy flow of the track. The synths and acoustic section work together to create something wholly majestic, almost a bit magical. “Thanatos” comes next, with a slightly creepy introduction that leads into a warmer black metal portion and seems to jump between the two sections. I definitely prefer the unsettling section a bit more than the black metal portion, as that feels a bit basic to me. But it is black metal in that sense and may not come off with as strong of a chorus had this warmer section been left out. I almost thought that we were going to be treated to a solo, but that never happened. Oh, well. “Dark Star” follows with a more straight-forward feeling of blasts and tremolos, but the throat singing effect and the background chanting seems to really set it off. I feel that I’m getting a more entertaining style of black metal than what Rotting Christ are currently doing now with their latest ritual/folk iterations.

The last cut on the disc is “Fallen” which is definitely heightened by the horror-influenced keyboard sections that lie just overtop of the jamming riffs. The song has a slight funk/disco vibe in regards to the production, but Primordial recently did that on their latest album, which I enjoyed there too (though would not have expected). It ends with folk acoustics and a starry soundscape.

In the end, I would say that the 80% rating for the album featured on Metal Archives fits it perfectly. Skognatt definitely has an intriguing sound, with proficiently utilized folk, keyboard soundscapes and black metal stylings. It is still a bit rough around the edges in some regards, though I am certainly proud to be promoting a disc on this level of quality. There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of bands that I’d consider to be far less interesting than this, so I hope that Skognatt will continue to evolve into something even greater and more mystifying in the years to come. Perhaps, Skognatt might even be able to surpass them all. You can find out for yourself at the link below.

(6 Tracks, 31:00)

8/10

Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)

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