WARDRUNA

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Album Reviews -

Skald

BY NORSE A solo sum­mon­ing from the out­skirts of time Con­tin­u­ing his dra­matic sonic evo­lu­tion, Wardruna founder Ei­nar Selvik re­turns with a spec­tral col­lec­tion of solo pieces and Wardruna songs that he’s per­formed solo over the years, recorded live in a stu­dio. Skald is es­sen­tially a solo al­bum, with Ei­nar per­form­ing the tracks ac­com­pa­nied by lit­tle more than the coarse thrum of a lyre or the mourn­ful pluck of a harp. Stripped down, skaldic ver­sions of

Fehu and closer Helve­gen

(from 2013’s Ru­naljod –

Yg­gdrasil), dove­tail per­fectly into the bleak in­ti­macy of

Vo­luspá and the ti­tle track. The in­ef­fa­ble beauty of th­ese com­po­si­tions lies in their po­tent and un­guarded sense of soli­tude; per­formed with an­cient in­stru­ments and sung in the old Norse tongue, you can prac­ti­cally hear the crackle of a fire or the whis­tle of an icy gale cross­ing the wa­ter. Haunt­ing and im­mer­sive, some­times the heav­i­est sounds are the ones be­tween the notes.

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