Sólstafir, the Icelandic former black metal band are interesting proposition. A band who do things their own way, blending a good mix of folk, metal and prog rock into their sound.
Berdreyminn, their sixth full-length outing, is even pushing the band further with an undercurrent of eighties goth and post punk. The songs on this album, with their beautiful guitar licks and moody piano led atmospheric moodiness, are a delight to listen to. The band are sticking to their guns again and still sing in their mother tongue -Bbt this just adds to the overall sound. At times the songs bring to mind bands like The Sisters of Mercy or Joy Division – in feel rather than sound.
Opening track Silfur-Refur gets things going with moody country guitar, before moving into a full gothic metal number.
Track number two Isafold brings the eighties post punk sound to the foreground.
Hula is a real highlight, coming across like a long lost Anathema number – it’s a soulful and atmospheric triumph.
The balladic Dyrajordur, which ends strangely as an almost classic- rocking groover, and finally…
… Penultimate track Ambatt, which could have been pulled from a later day Radiohead album. This is the sound of Sólstafir really experimenting with their sound – and it works fantastically well.
The band have certainly found their own sound over the years, but conversely they aren’t afraid to experiment a little, but at times it all comes a little repetitive. Tempos change up and down through the songs, with for the most part everything sticking rigidly to the Solstifir formula. It would have been nicer to hear at least one song rendered as a shorter and straight ahead rocker, but this is a minor quibble. Berdreyminn is an album overall that will keep prog fans and devotees of post rock more than happy. A very enjoyable release.
Berdreyminn is released today (May 26th) by Season of Mist. You can buy it HERE