Skálmöld - Vögguvísur Yggdrasils (Napalm Records)

  Van Muylem    9 oktober 2016

I saw these Icelandic melodic Viking folk metal (with Nordic influences) folks already live, loved their previous album and now their newest one too! Why, well, read on …

I don’t understand any Icelandic, but sometimes it sounds pretty close to Dutch and from what notice from the title tracks I can conclude that it’s all about Nordic stories (exploring the Nine Worlds all held together by world tree Yggdrasil), there’s more they simply travel to all of these different places. You might see some similarities with the Lord of the Ring stories, but hey: Snorri Sturluson was the first to write about the Nordic themes in his poetic Snorra Eda (and not the guy from Lord of the Rings). I was always fascinated by these stories and would love to have the translation for all the songs, but hey: I already have the music and that’s already good for now!

Muspell (home of desolation) explodes from the first note: a typical Viking Metal track! Heavy and raw screaming, bombing drums, melodic guitars and a crazy synth. I can see the pit exploding and getting invaded by fans, it’s truly on fire and here to reign! The backings are heavenly and gives it a perfect extra feel. Nifelheimur (mist home, one of the 9 worlds, later changed into Hel: the home of Loki) is softer and sounds a bit mellow, with again those cool backings. It has a punk feel, mixed with melancholia and a weeping sound. Towards the end the song changes slightly and becomes even a bit more into blues metal. The lead guitar sounds very smooth and great!

Nidavellir (world of the dwarfs) sounds like throwing a medieval metal party with raw Viking minded vocals and hammering guitars. The backings gives it something sweet. I like the melodic part, makes it hard to stand still as this ones demands that you at least start to nod your head or weep a little bit. Midgardur (home of the humans) explodes with the help of the drums, whilst the vocals are raging or barking like a dog on his watch. Utgardur (Utgard is thought to be the final of the three worlds connected to Yggdrasil being the home of the demons, the other two being Asgard and Midgard) gets a melodic blues metal touch with backings that give a catchy feel. It sounds like a perfect live track: firing up the crowd! Alfheimur (east of the underworld) sounds as if it’s already a mayor hit single: it sounds as if I heard it on the radio for many times and yet it sounds a bit strange on this album as it’s totally different from the other tracks. It’s softer, with a medieval touch (thanks to the backings) and has something epic and bombastic.

Heavy drums and guitars on fire with softer vocals, that’s what we get with Asgardur (the place where the Norse Gods lived). The song changes a bit towards the end: it gets a higher drive and a more aggressive sound. I adore this one as it changes and changes keeps it very interesting! Heilheimur (home of Hell) goes faster from the start and sounds pretty straight forward and fueled with lots of energy! Vanaheimur (home of the Vanir, a group of gods associated with fertility, wisdom, and the ability to see the future.)is a great end track that sounds like the last battle between evil vocals and a Viking Berserker. It get the pathos needed when the cold wind strikes. I don’t know how they did it and if it took them long, but this is just their best album so far! I think they can shake hands with their friends of Amon Amarth and join their league!

Buy their album, go see them live, become a fan as they absolutely deserve it! Their newest CD already sounds a  golden classic album as it has everything that an album like this needs!



1.      Múspell

2.      Niflheimur

3.      Niðavellir

4.      Miðgarður

5.      Útgarður

6.      Álfheimur

7.      Ásgarður

8.      Helheimur

9.      Vanaheimur

Sadly I didn’t get the extra’s, but if you check them they are more than worth it:

LTD Edition Bonus CD track listing:

10.    Drink (Alestorm Cover)

11.    Inní mér syngur vitleysingur (Sigur Rós Cover)

12.    Nattfödd (Finntroll Cover)

13.    Lazer Eyes (Thor Cover)

14.    Helreið afa

15.    Upprisa (Live)

16.    Hefnd (Live)

17.    Dauði (Live)