Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Skalmold - Ýdalir


After five long years the Icelandic viking metal legends Skalmold are back with Ydalir, their widest ranging and most ambitious offering to date. This is a potent release in an era where very few viking metal releases seem to penetrate the metal zeitgeist. Ydalir is an impressive offering though, tapping into so many of the things that has made Skalmold such a force historically, from epic choruses to the excellent melody lines and fist pumping songs guaranteed to keep listeners coming back in search of more viking adventures. 

Ydalir stuns with the way it's a clear labor of love. Songs like "Verdandi" feel far more multi layered than anything the band has done in the past and speak to their gradual evolution as a group of performers. When a band takes this long of a gap between releases you hope that it's to create something transcendent, and while Skalmold may not have reached those heights, this is most certainly the best work of their career. These songs see the band executing at the highest level they ever have and encourage listeners to dig deep into a vision of longships and mythology. There is something wonderfully old feeling about Skalmold and they lean into it more than ever on this album. 

Skalmold have left me enthralled with this latest offering and it's far too much fun to experience the crush of Ydalir. This is a record that has gone above and beyond to be a tour de force of what has made Skalmold so special throughout their careers. Bringing new blood to old sagas Skalmold have found a way to make Ydalir some of their most compelling work to date and to ensure that fans are going to keep coming back. This is what viking metal was always meant to be about. Are you ready to form the shield wall? 

Pre-order the album!

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