Illdåd – ‘Nattens klagokväden’ (EP 2017)
Release: 18 July 2017
Label: Rock Studio
Illdåd is a pretty unknown folk metal project from Sweden with just a person behind it, multi-instrumentalist Anton “Trollmania” Tordås, who also works in other metal projects such as black/folk metal band Bergsvriden, known for macabre themes and lyrics concerning the Scandinavian forest, which translates in dirty and creepy songs as well.
Illdåd’s songs do not depart a lot from the aforementioned subject, but you can clearly hear some differences between the two proposals which can be resumed in the absence of black metal in Illdåd’s music. In the following EP Nattens klagokväden, Trollmania, among with some guest musicians and a very nice female vocalist, offers us five acoustic songs about Swedish history and popular tales… yes, it seems that there’s nothing special from this point of view. But there’s a reason why I am writing this review. I’ve heard multiple songs from both Illdåd and Bergsvriden during the last year and I believe that Trollmania is a musical genius, one you hardly ever find in the actual musical scene. His incredible ability to build up intriguing and fascinating melodies got me to sit here and write a track-by-track review of this clear demonstration of his talent.
The EP starts with Nattalund, with a very simple melody, repeating during the first 2 minutes with different instruments. Two vocal sections are followed by a short accordion solo which starts with the main melody before changing and then leaving the place to an outstanding riff which moves away from the previous notes. Do not expect unusual tempos or strange guitar techniques: Illdåd’s riffs are always kept simple and accessible, yet managing to develop their own path among musical oddities and never becoming just a stupid bag of notes without thread.
The 2nd track Mors gossar små is again another demonstration of Illdåd’s technique: a main line extends for most of the 2 and a half minutes among the female vocals, with some instruments and tunes variations and a short solo near the middle of the song.
3rd track Blåkulla has some surprises in store for us though. This is probably the creepiest song of the EP: this time there are no female vocals but just Trollmania shuffling between clean vocals and screaming, as well as some screams in the background. A 3/4 melody is again repeated as always with changes etc. right before entering the last part of the song, different than the previous minutes. I am not going to describe it: I’ll let you enjoy the taste of surprise!
4th track Underdomlingen is the shortest track, and here melody is led by the accordion throughout almost the whole song. There’s nothing really special to point out here, but still a pleasant listen as always, as well as a way to introduce the 5th and last song. Lilljäntan is made of slow rhythms, female vocals and a short guitar section in the end that close this EP after less than a quarter of hour.
This is a very well-made and original work in the field of “swampy” folk metal, no matter the short duration and the absence of electric guitars. Everyone who’s tired of listening to the same melodies again and again and is looking for something different from usual should definitely check out this work. I sincerely hope Trollmania will bring us other musical gems from his inspiration without changing it at all: I’ll certainly look forward to hearing more from him in the future!
- Mors gossar små02:34