TROLLDOM is a name that goes back many years. While the band’s date of origin is unknown, the first demo, Av gudablod röd…, was released in 2016. That TROLLDOM played authentically vintage second-wave black metal should hardly be surprising considering it came under the banner of Ancient Records linchpin Swartadauþuz (Azelisassath, Bekëth Nexëhmü, Muvitium, Greve, MUSMAHHU, Digerdöden, Gnipahålan, Mystik, Summum, Daudadagr). Back then, his rabidly prolific nature was just starting to blossom, and TROLLDOM was yet another new-yet-old creation that contributed to his wider cosmology whilst standing on its own.
Alas, tireless as he was with his myriad bands, Swartadauþuz didn’t publicly revisit TROLLDOM…until now, with the simultaneous release of TWO albums. Of them, I Nattens Sken is the more overtly cosmic creation of his second-wave sensibilities. The album’s music was written between 2004 and 2008, with the recording taking place in 2018 and the mixing/mastering in 2021. While TROLLDOM’s spectral ‘n’ stargazing style of black metal mysticism remains firm between the two full-lengths, I Nattens Sken retains a ceaselessly roiling drama steeped in classic definitions of symphonic black metal – meaning, when the idiom was at its peak, roughly around 1996 or ’97 – and the clarity conveyed within does nothing to damper Swartadauþuz ‘s pitch-black fire. Taken another way, I Nattens Sken’s cover art perfectly illustrates its contents just as its counterpart’s does.
If any doubt ever lingered about the power and poignancy of Swartadauþuz’s projects despite their prolific nature, TROLLDOM trounces all doubters with the twin-attack of I Nattens Sken and Av Gudars Ätt. Purer expressions of ’90s black metal classicism one will not find nowadays, and both effortlessly transport the listener to forgotten realms and glorious times.