Published October 6, 2009
Definitely one of the best Icelandic albums of the year.
Sólstafir have come a long way from their humble black metal beginnings in the mid-nineties. Too few metal bands dare to experiment. For many metalheads, the onslaught of thundering drums and wailing guitar solos has reached such puritanical levels that it is in many ways comparable to religious obstinacy. Those that stray away from the well-trodden left hand path are frowned upon as outcasts and pariahs.
Sólstafir have definitely experienced this. But that is one of this strange band’s most admirable traits: They do not care whether you like what they’re doing or not. They go their own way. I remember seeing them in concert a few years back, where the audience was left shaking their heads as the band left the stage (this writer being no exception). They played only three songs, but somehow managed to stretch those songs to 45 minutes!
At times I found myself quite bewildered and confused, trying to figure out what they hoped to achieve with all this experimenting. Their latest offering, Köld, does however hint at an answer. It is an intriguing blend of metal and indie rock, with raw and emotional vocals that at times create a haunting atmosphere. The mood is one of both sorrow and beauty. This is music you could listen to on a rainy Monday while lamenting the turn your dreary life has taken.
With Köld, Solstafir have stamped themselves forever in Icelandic music history as one of the most interesting bands to date. It’s an awesome album that leaves you in a daze.
- MySpace solstafir