Review: “Kronieken uit de nevel” by Schavot

Recorded by multi instrumentalist Floris, “Kronieken uit de nevel” (or “chronicles from the fog“) is the second full-length by Dutch Black Metal entity Schavot (or “Scaffold“). Known for previous convictions in the late 90’s with various Black Metal bands including Sagenland, Meslamtaea and Asgrauw while citing influence from the likes of Emperor and Ancient, he also names and shames the first two Dimmu Borgir albums in forging his approach the genre. On 2021’s “Galgenbrok” Schavot plays what is best described as fast Black Metal with bruising drums, varied vocals and melodic guitars, obscured with a cloak of freezing synths and lyrically inspired by the rich Dutch history and folktales of otherworldly creatures. Long may that reign of terror continue…

A sirens serenade on the winds of Black Metal usher in “Onmens” (or “Inhuman“) giving it an almost ethereal melody before the demonic neck splitting vocals of Floris sever flesh from bone against the hellscape of jackhammer footwork and frantic fills from the kit. Treason has been committed in order to bring some melody to the torrential rain of traditional Black Metal and the result is an passionate display that feels like solitaire unraveling and increasingly unhinged. “Geestenrijk” (or “Spirit Realm“) offers up a tension filled restless and relentless white knuckle ride through inter dimensional torment that offers no hope of return. By this time the drumming feels inhuman, the pacing set too high for someone of flesh and bone to maintain the metronomic requirement without tearing a hole in the fabric of space and time; a spoken word giving a momentary reprieve from the caustic vocal tirade. The album is not however without its majestic moments and the guitar work and synths of “Heksenwaan” (or “Witch Delusion“) are darkly beautiful, the space between a blink and a tear, the eye of the storm. Delicate intricacies and eerie sounds creep out of the mix with each repeated listen as there is so much going on you may suffer from sensory overload in the first couple of spins, however persist and one shall be rewarded with cracks of light breaking through dark clouds overhead. The ferocity of “Hijs de zeilen” (or “Hoist the sails“) is such that one can only imagine Floris foaming at the mouth with insanity at this juncture, the spoken word moments having a haunting feel as they embellish the searing heat of the sonic tsunami.

The second half of the album begins as the first with bleak aching buried synths providing atmospherics that contrast an unstoppable skull battering from the percussion as “Zwart water” (or “Black Water“) takes shape. Cinematic qualities heard in the works of Danny Elfman are contained within this beast, the dramatic nature of it all raising the bar for the the work of Schavot in a way in which can only be admired. The blistering energy soaked with folklore and myth is an unstoppable force, a runaway train that threatens to depart the tracks at any moment. That is until the mid section of “Niet alleen de avond valt” (or “It’s not just nightfall“) which falls into the pit of despair with an aching melancholia with haunting melodies before rising like a phoenix from the ashes once more as bloody fists batter the corpse again. These tales of the brothers Grimm are brought home by “De laatste dans gedanst” (or “Danced the last dance“), a tour de force of a cut that brings together everything that Schavot is, the very essence of it and casts the spell to bring you back for more [7.5/10]

Track Listing

1. Onmens
2. Geestenrijk
3. Heksenwaan
4. Hijs de zeilen
5. Zwart water
6. Kerberos
7. Niet alleen de avond valt
8. De laatste dans gedanst

Kronieken uit de nevel” by Schavot is out 27th January 2023 via Void Wanderer Productions / War Productions

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *