Scald - Will Of The Gods Is Great Power 2-CD & T-Shirt
Epic CD edition of a timeless Underground classic!
Epic has become a bit overused in the world of metal with hundreds of bands often completely wrongly being tagged with the term. It’s a pity really, because often bands that truly do deserve the tag get completely buried, and ‘Will of the Gods is Great Power’ from Russia’s Scald is one album that really does in every way qualify as one of the most ‘epic’ sounding albums ever.
The album features a fantastic mixture of the majestic grand riffs and vivid imagery of Bathory’s Viking metal style albums such as ’Hammerheart’ which it is clearly hugely influenced by and the crushing slow tempos and down tuned guitars of traditional doom bands like Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. Every riff is equally powerful, and combined with the Viking-themed lyrics can conjure up images of ancient lands and Viking warriors that most so-called ‘Viking metal’ bands can only dream of doing.
While the music isn’t particularly complex, the instrumentation is superb throughout and the music is structured and composed perfectly with a perfect mix of heavy riffs and melody, staying completely gripping through the long song lengths. The guitar work in particular is amazing. As well as the great riffs there are with plenty of sweeping guitar solos, all of which are well composed and sometimes breathtakingly beautiful and emotional. All of the music is played on just guitar, bass and drums apart from waves and wind sound effects used to enhance the atmosphere and chimes playing a hypnotic melody on ‘Ragnaradi Eve’.
Released first only on tape, it survived only because of the quality of the music to be remastered on CD. While taking away some of the power that most doom contains, the production makes the atmosphere sound completely natural and believable, in a way similar to good quality black metal that gets the production ‘right’ like Ulver’s ‘Bergtatt’. The production can take a while to get used to however, and may not be immediately appealing.
Maxim “Agyl” Adrianov, who sadly passed away in 1997 leading to the band’s break-up, was clearly an incredible singer, with a range that seemingly effortlessly managed to go from a low growl to an ethereal high pitched wail. Agyl could definitely rival the very best of epic doom metal singers such as Messiah Marcolin, though his singing is a bit restricted by the undergroundish production.
“Will of the Gods is Great Power” is overall an incredible album with the only flaw being certain parts in the production (although that is part of the charm as well). Scald borrow from Bathory and Candlemass, and manage to reach the same quality, arguably even surpassing them. A must for any fan of epic doom metal.
Needed if you like: Bathory, Candlemass, Manowar, Solitude Aeternus, Manilla Road