Album Review – Skognatt / Autumn Skies EP (2020)

Let your soul be embraced by 17 minutes of classy and piercing Atmospheric Black Metal made in Germany, perfectly representing what DIY is all about.

Two years after the release of his debut full-length opus Ancient Wisdom, Augsburg, Germany-based Atmospheric Black Metal/Dark Ambient one-man army Skognatt returns in full force with another solid EP entitled Autumn Skies, the third EP in the up-and-coming career of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Danijel Zambo after Stargazer and Ancient Wisdom, released in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Once again featuring guest musician Gerileme, from renowned underground acts such as Asche der Welten, Burial in the Woods and Osteon, who played and engineered all drums in the EP, Autumn Skies is an entertaining and detailed lesson in DIY, as Danijel not only wrote all music and lyrics in the album, but he was also responsible for all recording, mixing, mastering and layout aspects of it, showcasing all his talent as the Teutonic metaller he is.

Sounding as atmospheric as all of his previous creations, a sense of hopelessness and solitude permeates the air in Shadowlands, quickly exploding into modern-day Atmospheric Black Metal were Danijel slashes his guitar strings in great fashion while at the same time roaring and gnarling like a beast, accompanied by the classic Black Metal blast beats by Gerileme and also presenting acoustic, cryptic passages that will crawl deep inside your skin. Then we have Black Rain, even more atmospheric and melancholic with Danijel’s acoustic guitars bringing a touch of finesse to his scorching musicality, living up to the legacy of such distinct genre while our one-man army fires sheer rage and despair through his growls. And last but not least, the title-track Autumn Skies begins in a truly obscure and melodic manner, evolving into a multi-layered Atmospheric Black Metal feast where Danijel’s roars get deeper and darker than usual while Gerileme dictates the rhythm with his Doom Metal-inspired riffs, not to mention how darkly Danijel declaims the spoken words taken from a poem by John Keats, an English Romantic poet who was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Moreover, the way the song ends is absolutely phantasmagorical, putting an enfolding finale to Autumn Skies.

You can take a full and detailed listen to Autumn Skies on YouTube and also follow Danijel Zambo and his Skognatt on Facebook and on Instagram, but of course in order to truly support underground musicians like Danijel you should definitely purchase your copy of the EP directly from his official BandCamp page. In summary, Autumn Skies is not only a 17-minute album of Atmospheric Black Metal made in Germany, but a fresh and vibrant statement by Danijel to the entire world reminding everyone that Skognatt is alive and kicking, ready to represent true independent metal under any circumstances and showing us all Atmospheric Black Metal is still a driving force of the underground with a lot of fuel to burn. In addition to that, it’s beyond clear how the music by Danijel is evolving album after album, and I personally can’t wait to see what’s next in his promising career.

Best moments of the album: Shadowlands.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Shadowlands 7:31
2. Black Rain 3:51
3. Autumn Skies 5:51

Band members
Danijel Zambo – vocals, all instruments

Guest musician
Gerileme – drums

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