Airwaves

Icelandic Metal Is [insert Eyjafjallajökull pun here]!

 
Icelandic Metal Is [insert Eyjafjallajökull pun here]!
 

Don’t be lame. Subject yourself to Icelandic metal. Trust me, it will pull you in all sorts of directions ‘cause our bands steer clear of sloppy seconds. They are dynamic, diverse, and bloody good a lot of the time…
Members of the commercially successful hit making assembly, Ljótu hálfvitarnir, have formed Viking metal meets Iron Maiden type band Skálmöld. The Ásatrú and Icelandic legends inspired folk fist-pumpers are already crossing over to large audiences.
Momentum got up one day and concocted what will probably become the album of the year and easily one of the top three Icelandic metal records of all time. ‘Fixation, At Rest’ is a sonic trip of unprecedented depth, poignancy and creativity. Own this record.
Severed Crotch, although technical and brutal, are Iceland’s Pantera. Everybody seems to appreciate them, be it in the diehard fan fashion or the more tempered yet grinning head-nodding-in-approval sort of way. No wonder. They are the unwavering soldiers of death metal who bring the ruckus and they just unleashed their most accomplished and mature effort to date, ‘The Nature of Entropy’.
Chao’s ‘Spiritus Sankti‘ EP has finally seen the light day after some tribulations. Chao (by many heralded as Iceland’s best black metal band, which I’m not going challenge) sound grim and cold enough to be embraced by the “tr00 kvvlt” hordes yet varied and “thoughtful” enough to appeal to a larger demography. Quality stuff.
Black Earth is the island’s latest super group, comprised of ex-Brain Police, I Adapt, Tommygun Preachers personnel and current members of Momentum/In Siren and Ask The Slave. Veterans and professionals playing in the Mastodon realm but also adding thicker grooves and more metal metal, so to speak. A nice way to lure fans in for sure but the band has hinted at other influences rearing their heads in their mix. Check.
Speaking of the devil. Ask The Slave just released their mindfuck of a second full length coined ‘The Order of Things’. With its many layers of vocal styles, twists and turns, surprises and orgy of ideas, calling them ambitious is justified. Fear not, for what could have been an obnoxious and lulling nerdfest, is in fact an intriguing and impressive collection of smartly executed prog-rock and playful yet biting metal. A carefully sewn patchwork of goodies if there ever was one.
The latest Wormlust demo, ‘Svarthol’, is a beauty. Listening to this 16:36 minute opus is like being sucked into a black hole and flailing around inside it until it has chewed you up and spit you out into another dimension. Move you it will.
Changer was formed in ‘99 by a multi instrumentalist, star drummer that figured he’d do it all by himself. He’s a stubborn fellow and since then the band has broken up, got back together and changed so many members it’s become a modern day fable and the life of anyone’s party to account for the ongoing saga. More importantly, there’s evidence of a solid line-up, a new record called ‘Darkling’, and band merch made of wool! Don’t blink because it could all be over in a second… again, but enjoy their rejuvenated sound of death and thrash metal.
Arguably, talk of the scene is Angist, who stick out not only due to the savage female vocals but the fact they might be serving up the most evil sounding death metal going right now. It’s plenty cold too, giving them a special edge that will certainly make people stick around and anticipate future endeavours.
If you’ve been wandering in the woods at night in the rustling leaves, amongst the skeletal spectres of ravens long gone, the undead bird remains might have whispered of a new project with captain Wormlust himself (Hafsteinn Lyngdal) and Dagur of Plastic Gods/Manslaughter fame. This undertaking has been named Witches. Not even old Lucifer himself has been informed of how this one will sound.
Sólstafir seem to be conquering the world, hooking up with international agents, hitting the road any given chance supporting their critically acclaimed career defining magnum opus, ‘Köld’.
Up-to-no-good misanthropes Svartidauði are supposedly hard at work finalizing a new international split-release with a band from Chile. In the meantime, their almost impossible to find cassette ‘Temple Of Deformation’ has been release on CD via Aquil Cruoris records.
More extreme metal news to follow. Watch this darkened space.

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Posted October 12, 2010