It has to be said that Skálmöld is a very consistent band. After releasing their powerful debut Baldur, they followed it up with the incredible Börn Loka before releasing a live album with an Icelandic orchestra – and that’s before you even take into account their massively tight live performances. Með vættum is the band’s third full-length offering and it showcases exactly what this band is capable of.
Although just eight tracks in duration, it’s a very substantial offering and each of the songs contribute something different to the album, keeping the listener on their toes as they’re never quite sure what to expect next, which is a great approach to take with the album – although it does leave you wanting a little more! It’s fresh and exciting, yet the sound is still undeniably Skálmöld’s, especially with the way the vocals are approached – one of the best things about this band is that they effortlessly utilise three different styles of vocals and when you hear them all pitted against each other, it truly is something to behold.
A particularly good example of this is in Að vetri, which is arguably one of the best tracks of the album. At one point, the clean vocals of Gunnar Ben along with the deep harsh vocals of Björgvin Sigurðsson and higher harsh vocals of Baldur Ragnarsson are all performed at once and it’s simply incredible with the way you can make out each individual vocalist in the mix – it makes for some epic listening! In addition to this, the instrumentation is top-notch and the song features majestic guitar lines and solos, furiously energetic drums and a rumbling bassline that holds the song together.
Skálmöld have always been a band that seemingly isn’t capable of putting a foot wrong but it’s like they’ve taken things up a notch with this album – quite simply, it’s their best release to date.
You can watch our video interview with Skálmöld from last year here.