Have you ever woken with a feeling of existential distortion? My haunted friend, have I got good news for you. Of Existential Distortion, the explosive new album from extreme metal band Úlfúð, might just be the tincture for your tortured soul.
For the latest Filthy Interview, I caught up with Breki and Siggi, vocalist and drummer of Úlfúð, respectively, to discuss the band and the new release.
The Advent of Siggi
Úlfúð was founded in 2015, but it was two years later that Breki says “things got serious.” That’s when Siggi joined the band and its identity really took shape. “Through the years we have changed a few members. These changes have always been drama-free, sadly,” says Breki with a grin shaping the corner of his mouth.
“I found out that Úlfúð was looking for a drummer in the way Icelanders find out about most things — on Facebook,” Siggi recalls. They didn’t really know each other beforehand, so it appears Úlfúð owes a pint to Mr. Zuckerberg. A pint of blood, of course.
From (Un)Holy Themes to Apocalyptic Soundscapes
Úlfúð recorded their first EP, First Sermon, in 2018. It was a self-published limited cassette release through Metal Defiance. “The production process for Of Existential Distortion was definitely longer than for our first EP,” says Siggi. This time around they aimed at creating a particular ambiance — a more atmospheric, immersive and complete package. “We’ve grown a lot and now we know exactly where we want to be soundwise,” adds Breki.
Úlfúð began recording Of Existential Distortion in 2020 and it was published through the American label Dark Descents in 2021.
Does Brian Cox Listen To Extreme Metal?
The title of the new release seems cryptic and obscure. Before I fell into an existential crisis, Breki – who is also the lyricist of Úlfúð – pulled me back from the brink. As it turns out, it alludes to a black hole. “The idea of the title came to me after attending a Brian Cox lecture in Harpa. He was talking about black holes and how the light would get distorted during their creation process.”
It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times
“I really enjoyed the recording process,” states Breki enthusiastically, “but the worst part was waiting for it to finally be out. I just wanted to know what people thought about it and see their reactions. I had a hard time”.
“Often the songs are quite flashed out,” Siggi laughs. “For this album, we all shared ideas and tried different things, but sometimes we went in a circle.” Writing, trying things out, updating and producing something within their creative confines took time.
According to Siggi, they now have around one and a half albums worth of material. “Our next album is probably already written. One of the upsides of the pandemic is that we had a lot of time and we used it to work on new material.” Now the plan for Úlfúð is to take their music as far as it can go.
Catch Úlfúð at Reykjavík Deathfest, happening September 29 to 30.
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