Released: 2015, Hammerheart Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Solid pagan/second wave black metal here on Kjeld’s Skym. Perhaps not essential, but pretty damn good. Expect a lot of hyper-fast tremolo riffing and really good rung notes and good slower riffs when not blasting. I would compare this album with Ragnarok’s album, Malediction, which was a radical departure from their earlier style.
While that album may be more ferocious, Kjeld’s Skym has more hooks. The band really shine when they vary the tempo some. Track two, the title track, Skym, is without a doubt their highlight track. Us Grun is another really good one, with a slow to mid-tempo bashing riff at the end of the song that should have been used as a main riff.
The band play at mostly fast tempos though and the best tracks are front-loaded on the first half of the album. Kjeld could have used more time in the studio to cut the fat from the record, limiting the release down to their best six songs or so. The latter half of the release has me on the fence a bit. They still have good moments but the music mostly whizzes by after a good twenty minutes worth of the release.
Still, this band plays good music for the most part, and I recommend it to fans who like fast second wave black metal with some pagan themes. Perhaps, we haven’t heard the best of what this band has to offer and this release, Skym, is a tell-tale sign that the band’s songwriting prowess has not hit its creative peak.
Repeat listens are easy for the first seven or eight tracks, before the latter half fades into background music. The performances are commendable. The vocals are mid-to high pitched echoing screams and the guitars are in front of the mix. I would like to see the band progress by incorporating better arrangements on their future efforts, especially by cutting down the length of the record and only playing killer tracks. As it is, I repeatedly failed to finish the entire record each time I tried my best to listen intently. The arrangements could have used more catchy riffs. Like Ragnarok’s Malediction, Kjeld’s Skym might lose the listener’s interest on blasts that offer riffs that aren’t memorable. The final track is notable for the ambient acoustic touches at the very end of the record.
Reviewed by Al Necro