Norway’s Myrkgrav (Dark Grave) goes beyond the typical landscape of metal that incorporates folk elements. Myrkgrav was created by the musician, Lars Jensen. If classifying the band was necessary, it would be attributed to blackened folk metal. However, Jensen describes the band as “bygdemetall,” which translates to farmland or countryside metal. This provides a distinction from Myrkgrav contemporaries because the band is often attributed to “pagan metal.” On 2006’s Trollskau, Skrømt, Og Kølabrenning (Trollish Woods,Wraiths, and Coal burning), harsh vocals are combined with singing to layer on top of folk melodies and the atmosphere of black metal. Its lyrical content includes local folk tales that extend the typical themes of the metal world.
Certain songs from the album stand prominent with their sound. “Fela Etter’n Far” begins at a slow tempo, but offers sincere emotion in the singing style that melts into a moderate pace. Those familiar with Myrkgrav may be aware that the song was re-recorded in 2011. The version has the same appeal, but there are a few alterations. Most of these involve the spoken parts and added singing. Nevertheless, the instrumentation on both tracks is likable. Perhaps the most popular piece on the album is “De To Spellemenn.” It moves along with a majestic appeal and sets a tone for contrasting vocal styles. Another song worth mentioning is “Finnkjerringa.” This song has a more rapid pace, but it has the similar melodies as the other songs mentioned. This one seems to focus on chant-like vocals rather than harmonies.
With Trollskau, Skrømt, Og Kølabrenning, listeners can enjoy a quality metal album that neatly packages folk metal and black metal. It strays from the common lyrics that like artists use, but its familiar atmosphere fits well in a playlist with folk metal bands. The general feel of the album suggests a thoughtful, genuine work that is full of emotion. It’s not a bad venture into a band evoking a definitive quality.