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Harmdaud > Skärvor > Reviews > Edmund Sackbauer
Harmdaud - Skärvor

Harmdaud - Skärvor - 91%

Edmund Sackbauer, January 26th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Art Gates Records

Here we got an interesting one as Harmdaud (another one-man band/project from Scandinavia by Andreas Stenlund) presents a mixture of various sub-genres on his second full length called “Skärvor”. This album is dark yet melodic and is played and produced with the highest level of professionalism.

There are a few hints of other related genres but Andreas often stays within the boundaries of traditional black metal enhanced by gothic soundscapes and melodic death metal passages. Hefty and relentless tremolo riffs can be found on some of tracks but not on all. Most of the chords of those have their origin in the glory 90s but at times a more modern variation of this particular style can be found as well. Often tracks do not simply follow a pop song formula consisting of the traditional verse-bridge-chorus parts. The songs feature arrangements that flow and evolve as each riff and pattern closes. Each transition marks an indistinguishable final chapter in a song segment. This album is mostly comprised of pieces, not standard songs. However, it is the way how those pieces have been put together that makes this album a fascinating listen.

The bleakness and the haunting soundscapes building the backbone to the heavy instrumentation are a very important factor to the overall picture that is painted by Andreas. While the tempo is kept in mid-tempo most of the time some of the tremolo riffs come fast and furious and without mercy. The songwriting is great with some well-placed tempo and rhythm changes giving the whole album a great flow. While there are some impressive soloing parts the song structures are never too complicated making this album not too difficult to enjoy.

Beside the spectacular guitar work also the rhythm section has to be mentioned. The drumming is precise following the main patterns of each song and highlighting several sections where an extra portion of intensity is needed. Most of the time it is kept pretty laid-back underlining the stoic and slightly doomy nature of the music. “Skärvor” for sure is not an album for showing off any instrumental wankery but presenting a stringent piece of music dragging the listener into a dark and melancholic world.

The production is nearly flawless. The guitars are crunchy and have enough filthiness to satisfy each fan of old-school metal music. The drums are punchy without sounding too sterile and the overall mix is very transparent. The vocals are also on point as is the atmospheric cover artwork. Overall this album should be of interest for any fan of heavy yet intelligent music.