From Iceland — Jazzists With A Dark Soul

Jazzists With A Dark Soul

Published November 8, 2023

Jazzists With A Dark Soul
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Forsmán’s brave new world

In this Filthy Interview, I sat down with two members of the black metal band Forsmán – Haukur and Viktor. These young Icelanders came into the black metal scene fists first with their interesting blend of influences and dark, nihilistic lyrics.

“Black metal and a handful of other things”

Forsmán was formed towards the end of 2018 and now comprises guitarist Haukur, bassist and singer Viktor, drummer Kári, and guitarist, singer, and lyricist Oddur – but it took them a few years to solidify their line-up. They didn’t play their first gig until January 2020 and released their first EP, D​ö​nsum Í Logans Lj​óma, in 2021. The goal of the production was to adhere to the formula and create a proper Icelandic black metal soundscape.

Photo by Art Bicnick

Forsmán’s lyrics are deeply nihilistic, often exploring the subject of religion, particularly organised religion and the disillusionment people experience when their faith is shaken. One of their approaches is to take old texts and poems, piecing them together in a way that reveals the contradictions and illusions inherent in these belief systems.

“Even if you saw us last year, it’s not going to be the same. We have a better idea of who we are and what we want.”

“There is a lot of irony and hypocrisy in humanity in general. Not only in religion,” says Haukur, emphasising the rage-fuelled sentiments that prevail in their music and their inclination to draw inspiration from old Icelandic poets such as Matthías Jochumsson, the author of the Icelandic national anthem.

Forsmán’s music is black metal at its core but they’ve added elements to their upcoming release that make the sound distinctly theirs. Viktor describes it as if jazz musicians decided to sprinkle a bit of death and grindcore into the mix, resulting in a sound that’s atmospheric, heavy, highly technical, almost psychedelic and doom adjacent. With three of the band members having studied jazz music at the local music high school, it’s no surprise that their music would incorporate unconventional (for metal) elements.

Here Come the Norwegians

Forsmán has an exciting gig lined up on November 10 at Gaukurinn with Norwegian bands Istårn and Fremtiden. The opportunity came up when they received an email from these Norwegian bands, who knew Forsmán’s music thanks to a friend.

There is a lot of irony and hypocrisy in humanity in general.

After months of performing at the same venues in Iceland, Forsmán is eager to break free from the monotony. “We had always had the goal of going out of the country to play,” says Haukur, going on to speak of the band’s growth. “Even if you saw us last year, it’s not going to be the same. We just have a better idea of who we are and what we want,” Viktor points out – another reason not to miss this all-Nordic gig at Iceland’s most popular venue.

Photo by Art Bicnick

Forsmán also wants to draw attention to the upcoming Andkristnihátíð, scheduled for December 21-22 at Gaukurinn bar. This festival, rooted in the black metal tradition, has a history spanning over two decades and promises to be a dark and immersive experience for all.

Make sure to keep an eye on Forsmán on Instagram at @forsmaniceland and don’t miss their upcoming performance with Istårn and Fremtiden on November 10 and the Andkristni Festival in December.

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