Archive for the ‘Misþyrming’ Category

Misþyrming — Söngvar elds og óreiðu

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

2015 is looking to be a good vintage as far as black metal goes. There have already been quite a few outstanding records released, rife with the invention and iconoclasm that flow through and wonderfully distort black metal’s core principles of sonic malevolence. In the past year or so, a scene that has shown to be well worth focusing attention upon is Iceland’s. However, despite the excellence of releases by bands such as Sinmara last year, broader recognition has yet to develop. Misþyrming are a band to recently debut with a full-length release that exemplifies this. The odd writer has picked up on their talent, perhaps most notably Noisey’s (Grim) Kim Kelly. But even after a couple of months out and about, the chatter about this band’s first record has yet to reach the pitch it deserves.

Söngvar elds og óreiðu begins in a fairly straightforward manner as far as the genre’s conventions are concerned. Whilst the early tracks may not contain many twists, the quality is undeniable. The first third is a furious conflagration of blinding speed and violence, all bred by riffs absolutely infernal in their evocation. Rather than the chilling windswept lifelessness so demarcative of the environment inspiring Scandinavian black metal traditions elsewhere, there is a strong sense of immolation, of the smoking explosive mountaintops Misþyrming’s homeland.

As the album progresses, its meditative qualities and the ornate detail in the riffs really begin to develop. Söngvar… never once resorts to the post-rock and shoegazey plays that have evolved into something akin to standard moves in creating a big atmosphere. In that sense, like Caïna and Leviathan this year, it has something in common with the better black metal releases of the last six or so months. It’s not that there is anything wrong with these elements if well executed. It has simply developed, by virtue of a saturation point being approached, that by evoking such motifs the music risks becoming average.

Instead, Misþyrming keep their art interesting by emerging from black metal’s common machine-like total instrumental unison with eruptions of individual expression, such as the free and billowing bassline bubbling underneath the guitars in “Er haustið ber að garði”. This follows straight into the next song, “Friðþæging blýþungra hjartna”. Nothing is dwelt upon at excessive length, producing a significant density as well as stylistic invocation from across the genre’s ages.

When hitting top speed, Misþyrming are without mercy, explosively hateful and bred from expertly distilled black metal riffage. The aforementioned diversity of ideas within the black metal scope the band expresses lends power and gravity to these attacks, and creates that welcome experience some black metal achieves of showing that you can be primitive and nasty whilst cerebral and ornate all at once.

As far as debuts go, Misþyrming’s is fantastic, brimming with intensity and ideas and a consuming infernal atmosphere. Having not long ago been a solo project that has expanded, there is good reason to expect even better things to come in the future. The album has been out since February through Terratur Possessions. You won’t regret giving it a chance.