Icelandic Metal

Things You Might Have Missed 2015: Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu

Things You Might Have Missed 2015: Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu

“There aren’t many contexts wherein ‘Icelandic’ forms part of a natural phrase to an outsider such as myself. If I think ‘American…’ I complete the phrase with ‘Horror Story,’ ‘Hustle’ or ‘Heartbeat,’ among numerous other affiliated terms. There are but two completions which spring to mind after ‘Icelandic’ for me: ‘beer’ and ‘metal.’ I therefore understandably privilege the overachieving country and am here to impart on you the knowledge of yet more exemplary cultural output.” Everybody move to Iceland and drink lots of beer, everybody move to Iceland right now!

Dynfari – Vegferð tímans Review

Dynfari – Vegferð tímans Review

“When it comes to selecting albums to review, I rely on a tried-and-mostly-tr00 method of meticulous selection that’s been proven to garner conversations around water bubblers and soda machines the world over: I sometimes randomly just pick shit from a list and think, “Okay, that’s cool. Let’s give that a shot.” Behold, today’s selection is Iceland’s Dynfari.” In the game of chance, you win some and you lose some. Are the odds in Grymm’s favor this time around?

Skálmöld – Með vættum Review

Skálmöld – Með vættum Review

“I dislike ‘Viking metal’ as a descriptor. It’s a vague term which alludes to lyrical content above the music itself. It can entail black or folk metal-derived darkness (Bathory), epic doom (Atlantean Kodex), raucous melodeath (Amon Amarth), and even power metal (Týr). Iceland’s Skálmöld falls somewhere between Amon Amarth‘s melodeath and the galloping triple-axe attack of Iron Maiden, stopping off at black metal for its raw tone and dabbling in doom for its long songs. See, wasn’t that easier than just ‘Viking metal’?” It is easier, but then Wotan will smite us.

Beneath – The Barren Throne Review

Beneath – The Barren Throne Review

The Barren Throne sees us heading back to Reykjavík, Iceland for a re-boot of brutal tech-death band Beneath. You should remember from my last review, or not, that Beneath is built up from the dregs of some of Iceland’s top metal bands (Sororicide, Changer, Diabolus and Atrum) and a mere 2 years after the release of Enslaved by Fear and the loss of frontman Gísli Sigmundsson, they’re about to make an aggressive comeback.” Madam X assumes The Barren Throne, will she delight in causing heads to roll?

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Skálmöld – Börn Loka

Things You Might Have Missed 2012: Skálmöld – Börn Loka

On the surface, Börn Loka, the second album from Iceland’s Skálmöld, is a high energy, beer-soaked celebration of Viking heritage. Sing-along choruses (if you speak Icelandic) overlay hooky riffs and power-metal leads in a combination that is readily accessible to mainstream audiences. (The band recently played an all-ages show in Reykjavík that was heavily attended by the under-10 set.) Fortunately, triple guitars and primary vocalist Björgvin’s sandblast roars keep the sound heavier than what you get from folksters like Korpiklaani, even when the atmosphere of Viking fraternity threatens to turn into an Alestorm-level schtick.

Kontinuum – Earth Blood Magic Review

Kontinuum – Earth Blood Magic Review

Kontinuum’s eclectic style threw me slightly off balance when the first track started up and truthfully my first thought was – is this an indie band, lost in a metal club improvising to not get the crap kicked out of them by a bunch of angry metal heads. Rest assured this is not the case, Earth Blood Magic is a crazy, kick-ass mix of what feels like a range of different influences that just somehow melts together as if by… dare I say it… magic?