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Review: Skagos - Ast

Label: NHR Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 52:52
Tracks: 6
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: June 4, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.27/5 (85.45%) (22 Votes)

This is an NHR release of an album originally put out in 2009 on cassette, so you know this is some kvlt shit right here. Skagos are a Canadian band who play very 'nature' oriented BM, without verging into Cascadian territory at all. They proudly claim that they never use any electronic instruments, so there are no keys on this, just real guitars and drums, which creates a warm sound that fits nicely with the nature/pagan themes of the lyrics. If I am reminded of any one band, it would be Woods of Ypres on their Pursuit of the Sun and Allure of the Earth album. This is Black Metal, but the vocals are sparse and there is a moody, summery feel to the music. The arrangements are a bit baggy, as the fourteen-minute epic "The Drums Pound Every Night in a Glorious Celebration of Life" has some great parts, but it meanders a lot and ultimately seems long just for the sake of being obtuse. The guitar sound on this is smooth and rather feeble, with little bite, and this hurts the album and makes it sound weaker and less important. I really like a lot of the melodies here, but they largely are not tied together to make actual songs with identity as such. So this is violently anticommercial, which I like, but it is also unfocused and lacking in real drama or tension.

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