While Røyksopp played their pop hits to thousands of fans at the occasion of the RakettNatt festival, the Bodø-based Black Metal band SKAUR offered a completely different musical experience.
SKAUR has existed, in some form or another, for more than ten years but has only really been a fully-functioning outfit since 2011, when the band released their acclaimed debut album. Shortly thereafter, the band started playing live and got picked up by the high-profile German Black Metal label Darker than Black. Earlier this year, they released their second album, ´Farvel´ which they finally had a chance to present to the Tromsø audience on the twenty-ninth of August.
Taking place in our most beloved Bastard Bar, the concert managed to gather about fifty people which is rather good considering how tiny a niche Black Metal really occupies in this town.
Playing as a quartet, SKAUR impressed with their professionalism and strong sense of devotion towards a traditional yet inventive idea of Black Metal. Their music, which is often compared to ULVER’s early years, is both relentlessly heavy and nuanced enough to allow for a strong melodic thread to lead the songs through an explosive path of blast-beats and relentless shrieking.
Even with this solid melodic backbone, one must admit that SKAUR’s music is maybe a little bit too ambitious to be as catchy or effective as it could be. Every song is made of countless complex parts, all collectively intertwined in subtle ways . This would make for an rich listening experience if the band’s overall sound wasn’t as crushingly heavy as it is. In the end, it was hard to get most of the band’s otherwise grand musical subtlety in the live setting of Bastard bar. In such circumstances, the band still delivered some severe Metallic blows and got an overall very positive feedback from the audience. After all, how often can one enjoy a evening of live North-Norwegian Black Metal? If it wasn’t for SKAUR, the answer would most be dangerously close to´never´, and for that we should be forever grateful.
Text: Lyonel Perabo