The release date of Skálmöld’s new album, Með Vættum, is yet to come, but thanks to their record label it’s possible for us to publish the review earlier. The album consists of eight songs: Að… and Með… alternately, the former ones being shorter than the latter. Lyrics are based on mythology, as always.

The opening track is Að vori, fast and aggressive, very solid as it reminds the listener what exactly Skálmöld is, before one hears the next songs. There is a Þráinn-show on the guitar, some Baldur’s screams, the band is obviously in their element. After the good start comes rather unpleasant Með fuglum which sounds really rough. The beginning of this song is arguably the worst piece of music ever released by Skálmöld. Thankfully, the longer the song lasts, the better it gets. The solo is marvelous and there is also a vocal solo by Gunnar. I like the ending, too, so it’s not that bad after all. Að sumri is a very melodic and rhythmic track, quite thought provoking. The song combines what Skálmöld was with what Skálmöld is now. Með drekum carries on the legacy as I can comment on it exactly the same way. I believe these songs were really meant to be side by side. There is a good riff with some pleasant freshness and also some parts demanding extra attention. Next comes Að hausti, the already known one. The sound is rather rough, the chorus is nice. You can hear a gust of innovation. And from now on the album gets only better and better. Með jötnum is full of maturity, supremely interestingly composed, quite contemplative. Close your eyes and let the song engulf you. In the middle the pace is a bit slower, you can hear light wind instead of vocals for a few minutes… This longest track ends wonderfully. It’s difficult to put it into words. You have to hear it yourself so buy the album and listen to it! Next, we have a lively song Að vetri, melodic, mature, with an awesome riff. A very interesting composition once more – that’s what is so spellbinding about Skálmöld to me. It’s not too simple, it’s not too complex. It’s perfectly just right, masterful sense. To me, it’s good enough to compete with the best ever Skálmöld song – Kvaðning. I’d love to hear it live. In fact, I planned to write that the band will play it on the tour for sure. It seems impossible to drop this song out of the setlist. But… amazingly, it was possible, apparently. For now, we can listen to Að vetri only on the album. That’s sad. Með griðungum sums up the album. There is a nice beginning, then some rough sounds, then Þráinn-show again, and finally a few minutes of a contemplative conclusion of the album. Who doesn’t muse now, should stop listening to Skálmöld as this clearly shows that one does not understand the band’s music. There is no better ending possible.

What can I say? The album is magnificent. Yeah, there is a part of Með fuglum I really hate, but it’s just a moment, a short moment. What I heard in the last three songs is out of this world and well enough to fall in love with the album. I feel the folk, I feel Iceland so much. What a maturity! When you hear „the older, the better”, you think about wine. From now on, I’m gonna think about Skálmöld. Can you believe this band has been around for few years only? I know the history of quite a few bands, but there is only one band I can think about which developed so quickly while being pioneers in what they were doing. I believe that Skálmöld may become the Dream Theater of folk metal.

9.5 / 10