Wardruna: Skald album review

Wardruna offer a solo summoning from the outskirts of time with Skald

Wardruna - Skald

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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.

For Fans Of: Sólstafir, Tenhi, Harvestman

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.