Icelandic Metal

Nyrst – Orsök Review

Nyrst – Orsök Review

“My last review took us to Finland to meet the mighty Bythos. This time we’ll head to another region on our quest north through Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Our destination? Iceland. Alongside stalwarts Misþyrming and Svartidauði, the newly conceived Nyrst likes its black metal as cold as the Arctic. In some cases, even more so than their countrymen.” Ice, ice, baby.

Misþyrming – Algleymi [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Misþyrming – Algleymi [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“As El Cuervo pointed out in his coverage of the band’s debut, Söngvar managed to be both avant-garde but also thrillingly, devastatingly alive. As a result, I was thoroughly looking forward to the follow-up. Algleymi arrived, and to the disappointment of some fans, it wasn’t Söngvar part 2. No, it was something else entirely, but definitely not something you’d want to miss.” Strange ice.

Árstíðir lífsins – Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr Review

Árstíðir lífsins – Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr Review

“Norse mythology is an expansive, rich, and very metal topic. It’s no surprise that folks from all walks of the metal world have adapted its themes and stories as a part of their artistic visions. I would argue that black metal adopt this style best, especially when the band itself hails from the North. Enter Árstíðir lífsins. Since 2008, these Icelanders have been creating black metal that tell the historic and mythical tales of their homeland in their native language. Their latest output, Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr is part one of a story about the rise and reign of King Óláfr Helgi Haraldsson, who ruled Norway in the eleventh century.” Ice tales.

Óreiða – Óreiða Review

Óreiða – Óreiða Review

“Atmospheric black metal is tricky to judge. The definitions for the style are broad, and its success really lies in the emotional resonance felt by the listener. Obviously, this is a true statement of all art, but I’ve always found the more abstract qualities of atmospheric black enhance that statement beyond its usual bounds. To me, this makes it a very difficult style of music to review. So, naturally, when I came across an unreviewed sample of the genre, I leapt at the chance to become better acquainted with Óreiða, and their self-titled full length debut.” Void where sold.

Sinmara – Hvísl Stjarnanna Review

Sinmara – Hvísl Stjarnanna Review

“‘Too dense, too impenetrable, too fucking spooky,’ a n00b once regarded black metal. That poser embarrassed himself as glorious Icelandic output like Misþyrming sailed right over his head; now he’s putting poor other n00bs on blast over it. That is to say—in the most roundabout way possible—black metal good now. So, much to a lesser me’s surprise, I clamored after the ensuing jump-ball when Svartidauði guitarist Þórir Garðarsson resurfaced with Almyrkvi and Slidhr alums on Sinmara’s sophomore release. Cue the cliché about ‘being glad I did because Hvísl Stjarnanna is great,’ because I’m glad I did, and Hvísl Stjarnanna is great.” From the mouth of n00bs.

Svartidauði – Revelations of the Red Sword Review

Svartidauði – Revelations of the Red Sword Review

“Although not the first country that leaps to mind, Iceland is tailor made for a black metal scene. With thirty active volcanoes, a sun that can still shine in the middle of the night, and a winter that lasts almost precisely as long as summer, bands have plenty of inspiration in which to toil and leave their legacy on the sound. The arguable leader of these is Svartidauði, whose debut full length Flesh Cathedral received heaping praise and exposed the Icelandic scene to the world at large.” Of ice, volcanoes, and red swords.

Kontinuum – No Need to Reason Review

Kontinuum – No Need to Reason Review

“Last month, one of our devoted thralls loyal readers was bemoaning the fact that we haven’t used the “Non-Metal Metal Things” tag in a while. Well, here you go, courtesy of dark Icelandic rockers (and Madam X favorites) Kontinuum. Why is the Huckster reviewing this album instead of Madam X?” Icelandic mystery.