From Iceland — Sólstafir


Published May 9, 2008


Organ was packed good, at least considering that it was a Tuesday night. Most people were obviously there to see Sólstafir so the interest in newcomers Polymental, who started the night, was politely disinterested. Their set, frankly, didn’t do much to change anyone’s mind. Their old school metal is skillfully executed; these guys are all great musicians, but lacks originality. Their singer showed some classic metal wailing – which was nice, but not enough to make the performance memorable.

Sólstafir are an institution in the Icelandic metal scene, starting out in 1995 with a traditional death-metal sound. Since then Sólstafir have carved quite a niche for themselves, especially in the European metal scene, their albums generally receiving glowing rewiews in international metal magazines.

At Organ Sólstafir played material from a forthcoming album, “Köld”, to be released in Europe this summer and in Iceland in the fall. It is hard to describe the Sólstafir sound, without sinking into some old clichés, so bear with me: their sound is unique, it is epic, it is orchestral and sublime. Sólstafir make long metal symphonies, hard hitting metal that is, at least in Iceland, entirely unique.

Sólstafir played 5 new songs and 2 old ones – but it was by no means a short set. The average Sólstafir song is on par with the length of a full length Ramones album. The new stuff sounded big – it sounded as if the next album will be a really important release – both for Sólstafir and the Icelandic metal scene. Sólstafir seem to understand that the visual performance of a band is almost equally as important as 3 minute guitar solos and the Organ performance was no exception. A great concert indeed.

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