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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review: Ivar Bjornson & Einar Selvik's Skuggsjá - Skuggsjá


Skuggsjá is the name of a collaboration between Enslaved’s Ivar Bjornson and Wardruna’s Einar Selvik, who just released their first, self-titled album yesterday. Let’s see what’s in store for us from Norway!

Admittedly I was very drawn to this record by being a big Enslaved fan, but this record is not a wash-up, but rather a great, whole new, level of Ivar Bjornson’s creativity, together with his partner in crime. “Skuggsjá” is a very original, very ambitious record, mainly marked by a mystic atmosphere, as already created in the opener “Ull kjem”. Heavy guitars a la Enslaved or Wardruna are solemnly to be found… they remain rather in the background, tagging along with the folk-instruments which set the record’s tone. The most related track to the gentlemen’s principal bands is “makta og vanæra (I all tid)”, while another, remarkable song is the more dreamy-meditative “bøn om ending - bøn om byrjing”. The remainder of the songs falls sound-wise somewhere in between.

In conclusion, “Skuggsjá” is a great record which is in my opinion pretty flawless. A great listen is guaranteed of a record which’s style cannot be pinned down precisely, but might be closest characterized as a folk metal album. Luckily though the songs never drift off into cliché. Surely one must-listen this year! 9.5/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

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