Country: UK
Title: Hagall
Label: AHPN Records
Year: 2018
Style: Black Metal

Weird situation: the band is called Sykelig Englen and the main man behind it is a guy named Nattskog, and I actually thought vice-versa, the band to be called Nattskog, and the musician Sykelig Englen. Oh well, it isn't my first nor my last confusion. Sykelig Englen hails from Norwich, England, and Hagall is the second album this one man band offers to the public. One man band although on this material some other persons are listed as taking part: Ankou for drum programming, mixing and mastering, P.K. for art landscape and Lizzie Chettleburgh for addition al artwork. To be honest neither of them did a good job on this album, Nattskog might have as well worked on his own for all these; maybe I'm a bit too harsh on Ankou's work, as he/she did his/her best in drum programming but the composition, mix and song structures enhanced the synthetic sound of the drum machine putting the focus on it, but other than that it's a pretty decent drum structure. The cover artwork, on the other hand, is simply childish and shouldn't have left their homes, looking at the simple but sombre cover artwork of the band's debut album I'd say the drop in quality is a serious one. Now talking about the main topic here, the actual music Sykelig Englen offers, we're dealing with a mix of traditional (raw) Black Metal with Death Metal, with plenty of influences from the progressive and experimental side of Extreme Metal, especially on the occasional guitar solos that are weird and bold enough not to get unnoticed, probably the best part of this album, or at least my favorite. The band refers to their style as "Suicidal Misanthropic Art", but apart for some slower parts that can give a depressive / suicidal feeling, I'd say their music is Progressive Black Death Metal. All in all this second album seems like the first step in search for the band's identity, a step in the right direction, but definitely not at the complete / mature / well developed level it can potentially reach; a band to keep an eye on.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 6.5/10