Review: Skraeckoedlan ‘Vermillion Sky’

Unless you are a native Swede or have had runs learning the language via Duolingo, the chances of understanding a band like Skraeckoedlan are limited – but not impossible, especially if you hold a special place in your heart for Spiritual Beggars, Dozer, Greenleaf, Horisont, Siena Root, the early stuff from Graveyard and Truckfighters or my personal favourites, Lowrider.

Skraeckoedlan 'Vermillion Sky' Artwork
Skraeckoedlan ‘Vermillion Sky’ Artwork

As far as the Swedish stoner rock scene goes, rare are the people who admitted to not be into these fabulous bearded beasts from Norrköping (pronounced: nurr-shuh-ping). Just like Kollapse for Denmark, Kverlertak for Norway, Hamferð for Faroe Islands and Oranssi Pazuzu for Finland, I find it fascinating to delve into an album in which I know I will not understand a single word out of it.

Did it prevent me from loving this album? Not at all, in fact, it is so easy to get lost in the sauce when you are knee-deep into your fourth listening of Vermillion Sky of the week. But it does take some time to really grow on you, which again, is not surprising because it’s important to have that connection with an album you invest time (and sometimes money) for.

Skraeckoedlan may have crafted one of the coolest albums of their career, if not one of the best stoner metal albums of the year…

It’s already five years since they last released an album, the supremely cool Eorþe, and three years since the reissue of their debut album Äppelträdet, and it was about time we got to enjoy newer material. The first thing that strikes you when the record starts with Cosmic Dawn, is that you will not dance the Macarena in sync with the drums of Martin Larsson, it is more introspective and exploratory than usual. The magic formula that makes Skraeckoedlan amazing is still here and doing wonders.

The harmonies shared between Robert Lamu (vox/guitar), Henrik Grüttner (guitar/vox) and Martin Larsson are incredibly catchy, the groove of Tim Ångstrom’s bass continues on being impressive and all of this combined makes an excellent stoner rock album for 2024. It is visibly heavier (Metagalactic Void Honcho) and fuzzier (Mysteria) than ever but still very proggy like in the closing song, Astronautilus. Then we have Meteorb, which could have easily appeared on a trippy sci-fi movie from the 1970s or Night Satan that would feature on the sequel of a trippy sci-fi movie I may or may not have mentioned.

I feel like the best advice I could give you when it comes to Skraeckoedlan and Vermillion Sky is to keep your hands on the wheel of your space jet before initiating take off, because if the conditions are clear and the horizon is within reach, then you will embark yourselves into one hell of a ride. Skraeckoedlan may have crafted one of the coolest albums of their career, if not one of the best stoner metal albums of the year.

Label: Fuzzorama Records
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Nessie Spencer