Black Metal Band Nyrst Introduces Forthcoming Release Völd
In this Filthy issue, I met up with Eysteinn and Snæbjörn, lead guitarist and vocalist/lyricist, respectively, of mystical black metal band Nyrst. Though the focus of our conversation was their forthcoming release, Völd, I was surprised to learn what Nyrst is really about — and that some things are better left untold.
On beauty and brutality
Formerly known as Skuggsjá, Nyrst emerged onto the Icelandic metal scene in 2013. The name change happened in 2016 when they released a demo that served as their entry into Hell’s Pit. As the band developed musically, they began to craft more advanced material that led to the release of Orsök in 2020, orbiting between Norwegian and Icelandic black metal.
The group’s concept, succinctly summarised in their forthcoming release, is about nature’s dominion over mankind, portraying the inherent power imbalance between the two and perpetual human vulnerability. In the face of past and ongoing volcanic events here in Iceland, Nyrst reflects on and works through the raw force of nature, reminding us of the brutality we have to endure to catch a glimpse of the world’s beauty.
“There was a time when you could not see the sun because there was so much ash in the air. This is what interests us,” says Snæbjörn, explaining the origins of the band’s soundscape and visual cues. Black metal is often theatrical on stage and Nyrst’s performance is no exception. Those visual elements help amplify their performance and make it more impactful. “We want to portray something primal and primitive,” says Eysteinn.
One music reviewer described Nyrst’s live shows as a volcanic ritual. Given that Nyrst’s members seem to fall into a trance while performing, the description is more than fitting. Reportedly, the band has a track record of summoning storms as they set foot on the stage. “During our Summer Breeze gig, one of the largest German festivals after Wacken Open Air, a hellish rain and wind came out of the blue causing the backdrop flag to fall over the drumset,” Snæbjörn recalls.
Völd is the second time that Nyrst releases through the Norwegian label Dark Essence Records. With the support of producer Haukur Hannes, Nyrst took several approaches to recording and used a separate studio for drums. The writing process involved their previous guitarist, Davíð, who contributed new elements to Völd before being replaced by Birkir. Eysteinn handles most of the composition, while Svenni takes care of the percussion. Eysteinn notes that the album has a harsher sound compared to their previous, more melodic offerings – it’s more intense and relentless, emphasising the vocals.
After entering Doomstar Bookings’ prestigious roster, Nyrst is planning a tour abroad next year. They are already working on new material. As for Völd’s release show, it is planned for early 2024. Meanwhile, brace yourselves for its explosive release on December 8 and follow the band on Instagram, @_nyrst_
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