Skalmöld - Baldur

12 songs
66:36 minutes
***** ***


Bands from Iceland rarely find their way to the continent, but the reason that I have never heard from Skalmöld before might be explained by the fact that they were only founded last year. They didn’t wait long to release their debut album Baldur which even manages the feat to survive it vast playing time of over an hour without any unnecessary lengths. Band name and album title hint that we are in the presence of a folk metal band, although they are definitely one of the better ones.

The six musicians show already on the a cappella intro Heima that they have good voices, but things improve on the first regular track Árás where they offer solid metal riffs with a slight folk leaning. The growls are not truly convincing, but they are not used too abundantly. The choirs are arranged perfectly and remind me of Falconer, my favourite folk metal band from Northern Europe. Another strong point are the organ sounds that occasionally allow comparisons to Deep Purple. The rather numerous guitar solos are unusual for a folk album but harmonise crisply in an Iron Maiden way. The flutes also help to deepen the atmosphere. The only weaker track is the simpler För, while the eleven minute long bonus track Baldur makes up for that. On this epic song, the band pulls out all the stops and enchants with a visible amount of pathos.

Baldur was released already earlier this year on the small label Tutl from the Faroese Islands, but Napalm Records to give it another go by adding two bonus tracks. This should make the album available to a wider audience that will certainly appreciate the Icelanders inspired kind of folk metal.

Back to Reviews