Organic and vicious – inspired by our brutal surroundings.
Everywhere, nature is filled with opposites when it comes to good and evil. with that in mind, Åskog finds inspiration for their poetry, which often deals with the dying in one way or another they carry you away with with hoarse riffs and double pedals, but they also dive into the melancholic depths of doom in their black metal landscape.
Åskog is a duo from Sweden consisting of Adam Chapman on guitar and Lars Hansson on bass and vocals. On the release, they got Rodion Belshevits to record drums, just like he did on the demo. Both Chapman and Hansson have previously played together in the band Murdryck, and if you also take their releases into consideration, they have been through a development from ambient to more raw black. With Åskog, they aim for a vicious and organic black metal sound as we know it from mother nature.
Last year, the band released a demo which has just been re-released as second edition on cassette. The first disappeared quickly, so you must get moving and grab the newest edition while you can. Many have already discovered that it contains some wonderful tracks, and two of these are not to be found on the new record. Links to order both releases can be seen above.
The black kettle of ideas
Åskog makes grandiose and atmospheric black metal with a melting pot of inspirations from other genres. The death and doom metal elements are evident on the album. The poetry, on the other hand, is about the dichotomy existing in nature between good and evil.
The song “Moon” begins with an otherwise quite hefty, fast and rich guitar riff, but then becomes a lot doomier. Slowly, with an almost Borknagar-like sound, the song weaves itself further into a grandiose, natural soundscape, and one might experience being in the wild, with all of its grandeur. However, the double pedals act as the fixed point, which keeps you seized and on the edge.
Continuing in the record, we get to the track “Korp”, which has a very calm and stable pulse. A spiral-like guitar riff sounds very gentle at first but goes on to become a solo that drags you into an insisting spiral. The number ends by intensifying the tempo, and the spiral is executed as a thin guitartrack, being transferred to the overall soundscape – eminently composed.
The record ends with what appears to be a true star: “Aska”. The duality between good and evil in the lyrics is also shown in the musical composition. You will find some of the best guitar work on the entire record here, and a lot of depth in the drums. The work with the cymbals on the track is immensely beautiful, the record thus ends with slow, heavy quality craftsmanship.
Considering the fact that it’s the band’s first album, you will truly be pampered, and they succeed in taking inspiration from many different genres. Even the doom metal is incorporated in an exquisite way, while there is still plenty of dynamics in the rawer passages on the album.
It is no wonder that the band’s demos are torn away, and you should keep a close eye on this band. It is a debut album with many small, beautiful details you can easily get lost in, especially for those who loves the beautiful, natural black metal and the long walks. Åskog manages to give you an experience beyond the usual, with reaching melancholic depths, vicious heights and epic expanses.