Skaur - s/t (2009)

You know when sometimes in life you encounter music that makes an everlasting mark in your soul, which is a bit painful, but in a good way. Skaur's self-titled album did this to me this autumn. I was searching for an experience in Norwegian black metal that would finally make me understand the essence of this genre, or this nation, and would make me feel something. Previously, I've enjoyed many Norwegian black metal bands and songs but never really felt a real connection to any of them. But there's something different in Skaur.
Undoubtedly, seeing them live in early September made a difference, but it took longer than that to really get into this band and this album. Falling for this band has been greatly characterized by spending my first darkening autumn in northern Norway. It's been a very fitting soundtrack for the past few months.

One thing that I've come to realize on my journey to (Norwegian) black metal is that this is not a unified term. You can't expect all Norse bm to sound like Mayhem or Darkthrone. There is  a vast diversity within this genre, and Skaur stands at the Norse end of the scale. I find a lot of folky and natural elements in the riffs, melodies, and lyrics. Skaur does not sound evil in the way that a lot of black metal does - even though the element of death is always present. I almost want to say that it's more real because of that, but I guess it's just a matter of opinion. Nevertheless, I feel more authenticity with a band like Skaur, than with some other band that would have a focus on the evil stuff alone. The lyrical themes add to that, as well as the acoustic breaks.

Vissen rose pryder livets grav / gral
verdiloes poesi risset i likbleik hud
droemmer om doeden, edsbrudd mot livets brud
skorpionen forgiftet, selvpaafoert smerte
sommersol drepte det kolde hjerte…
- Nordnorsk Svartmetall

10/10. I love this album. I cannot pick just one favorite song of the album since they are all masterpieces, but here's the opening song of the album, Fullmaanesang. Enjoy.

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