Skálmöld – Baldur

“Baldur” is the debut album from Icelandic metal band Skálmöld. The only other music I know from Iceland is Björk, and this is a wee bit heavier. I really would like to go to Iceland one of these days. I like photography and it looks like they have lots of interesting landscape. And apparently they have cool Viking metal too, bonus!

Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel in describing their sound, I will pass along this paragraph from their bio sheet: “Skálmöld’s music can be described as powerful melodic and epic Viking Metal, mixed with the cold Icelandic darkness and various folk influences. Think Amon Amarth meets Ensiferum, meets Iron Maiden, and meets the classical composer Jón Leifs. The band’s lyrical take is ambitious and follows the strict rules of traditional Icelandic poetry.” Yeah, that’s a mouthful, but it probably does a better job than I would have. BTW that is quite a meeting.

The lyrics are not in English, so I’ve no idea what they are singing, but it sounds cool. Apparently this is a concept album revolving around the main character Baldur (thank you again trusty bio sheet!) The story tells the tale of Baldur and how his once happy life has fallen to ruin thanks to some other-worldly nasty monster. Baldur pursues the beast seeking revenge but ultimately a price must be paid. Sounds like a cool story to me.

I like their blending of the Viking metal with other styles. It really helps their sound to stand apart from other bands in the genre. Also, some of the backing vocals on “Upprisa” remind me of Lordi. The rest of the sound is completely different from Lordi, but I call ‘em like I hear ‘em. And I have to say the crying baby sounds that slowly tune down on “Draumur” are freaking creepy! Not sure what that is all about but it gave me the willies lol.

Despite not knowing what they were saying I found this to be a great listening experience. Maybe for their next album they could help me out a bit and throw some English my way. I’d be interested in hearing that.