From Iceland — Beautiful Desolation: Enter The World Of Auðn

Beautiful Desolation: Enter The World Of Auðn

Published October 21, 2016

Auðn make beautiful black metal. There’s no other way to describe it. After bursting onto the scene in 2015, the band developed an almost instant devoted following. Their sound is unlike anything else in Iceland or abroad—despairing, bleak and grim, but still fucking beautiful.

Airwaves might not be the most traditional venue for black metal, but if you’re looking for a break from the indie-pop, electronica and rap that pepper the festival, Auðn’s show will blow you away. Even if you aren’t a fan of heavy music, this band is something special. They’ve got it—whatever “it” is.

To learn more about them, we sat down with Andri, Auðn’s songwriter and guitarist.

So what’s the background behind Auðn?
Auðn was founded in 2010, when four of us went to a small cabin in the mountains near Nesjavellir. It was in the middle of December, with temperatures reaching down to minus 23 degrees Celsius. We had two guitar amps, a drum kit and some recording equipment with us. After a week of drinking and a mild food poisoning, our first song, “Sífreri,” came into being.

For foreigners, what does “Auðn” mean?
Auðn is a harsh, desolate landscape where nothing grows, and nothing ever will. It is bleak, yet beautiful.

What are your inspirations when songwriting?
We draw a lot of inspiration from our surroundings: the long winters with limited daylight, and the manic sleepless summers. When it comes to music, we all have different tastes and backgrounds but if we had to name a few influences they would probably be Drudkh, Mgla and a bit of Immortal.

What would you say your musical aesthetic is?
First and foremost it is about making music we like. We focus on expressionist principles and aim to have a cinematic feel to our songwriting.

How would you describe your music to someone who hadn’t heard it?
Cold and dark, but not without a sense of melody.

What’s it like being a black metal band at Airwaves? It’s not the most traditional festival for the genre.
We’ve never played at Airwaves before but we are excited to be playing for a new and different crowd. We do hope to see some familiar faces of course, though.

Are there any bands you guys are excited to see at Airwaves?
Well, there’s HAM and Dr. Spock, some of us might be checking out GlerAkur as well. We missed them at this year’s Eistnaflug but you could hear their massive sound just walking past the venue.

So what’s next for Auðn?
There are big plans in the making. We recently signed with Season of Mist for our next album, and three weeks after Airwaves we’ll be playing in Roskilde, Denmark with the Faroese Hamferð along with a few other acts from Scandinavia. In 2017 we’ll be playing at Roadburn in the Netherlands, the Eistnaflug festival here in Iceland, and a number of other shows. Things are looking up and we are looking forward to releasing some new material in 2017.

Follow Auðn on Facebook. See them at Airwaves at Gaukurinn on Nov 2.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!