Beneath at Húrra with Blood Feud, Misþyrming, Grit Teeth & Stoic. (22/05/2014)

The night started off with Stoic, a band that was so uninteresting that I hardly remember it 7 hours later. I remember thinking to myself that the musicianship belonged to death metal, but it was flat and uninteresting and the singer reminded me of 90’s grunge. Which is never a good thing.

Second on stage was Grit Teeth a grindcore/Hardcore-punk band. A type of music I typically don’t like at all, but they surprised me. I found myself shaking my head to their music and actually quite enjoying it. This type of music not being my cup of tea I wont go into describing them as I do not feel suited to do so.
https://gritteeth.bandcamp.com/releases

Third on stage was Misþyrming, an Icelandic black metal band. That shoved the crowd into a world of chaos, where no light could ever come near. Their music as heavy as it was led with a style that reminded me of old Enslaved (of all things). It was a wonderful experience as well as horrid. Their music is a complex piece of art that I now must hear again.
https://misthyrming.bandcamp.com/releases

Then there was Blood Feud. A grand disappointment. I have their old album Hiding Behind The Light. Back then I loved this band, as much as I could love a death/thrash metal band that is. Now with one of the members replaced it feels empty and boring. That which made them unique is gone and what made them unique was how well they seemed to click together.

Last on stage was Beneath. I was rather displeased by the new singer to begin with, but tonight he felt engaging and brutal. Their performance last night was nothing short of amazing. The pit went nuts, someone got cut real bad there was blood everywhere it seemed. All the while we were hammered with this brutal technical death metal, that felt both engaging and interesting. Very unlike most tech-death where you loose interest at the 30th tempo change.

Dauði & Djöfull í Hafnarfirði 1. & 2. Maí

This wonderful concert spanned a total of 2 nights, the first night being death metal the second black metal. One of those times where I would’ve shouted sign me up from the rooftops.

May 1st.

The night was kicked off by the band Úlfun a rather new death metal band. They were a lovely surprise but as it happens to be quite often with death metal, and especially melodic death metal it got pretty dry. I enjoyed about half their songs, the other half flew by me and it just wasn’t my thing. The sound felt hollow and I remember thinking through the entirety of their performance that there was something missing. Second and last on stage was the band Aeterna with their progressive death metal. It wasn’t at all their best performance. The sound again felt off (could be the speakers), they completely lost me in their progressive bits and again I only enjoyed about half of their performance. The on stage charisma of the singer was non-existent which sometimes works out great but that time it really didn’t. Only one band member seemed to be enjoying himself, one of the guitarists and in all honesty he made the performance worth my time.

May 2nd

The night was started off by the band Skuggsjá, a relatively new band, which immediately showed their dominance. Starting with an atmospheric backtrack and then blasting you away with heavy riffs and drums, followed by vocals that are not of this earth. A wonderful performance all in all with numerous tempo changes that were on the verge of being overbearing. Unfortunately Skuggsjá haven’t released any material that I could share but here’s their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Skuggsja?fref=ts Auðn took the stage next and as I have said before I love those guys. They started off with (if memory serves) the song Klerkaveldi and continued on playing most of their album and I completely lost it as Þjáning Heillar Þjóðar (the suffering of a nation) started playing. I don’t have anything bad to say about the entire affair, except that crowd participation was near nonexistent, but that can hardly be blamed on the band. I could go on in lengths of how and why I enjoy this band so much, but I’ll let a link suffice. I would like to hear something new from them though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGqCzl5imCo Dynfari were the last on stage, they started off by lighting candles and incense. A rather strange beginning in my book but I rather liked it, it set a wonderful mood for their slow atmospheric black metal. I was captivated by their music and it inspired a certain state of bliss. Where I simply sat there and swayed to the music enjoying every bit of it. It felt like being swept into an empty void of nothing a state of perpetual numbness. It felt misanthropic and beautiful all at the same time. They closed the set with one of the songs from their first album called Vonleysi (lyrics below and link), but most of the set was comprised of songs from their new album Vegferð tímans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyY4x5SXIxM

Vonleysi:
Þessar nætur
Svo endalausar
Safnist saman
Látnir draumar
Dauðar ástir
Brostnar vonir

Hyldýpi, nálgast
Umlykur, vonleysi

Ég hverf…
inn í fegurð tómleikans…

Rough translation:

Hopelessness:
These nights
Everlasting
Gather up
Dead dreams
Dead loves
Shattered hopes

The abyss, nears
Surrounds, hopelessness

I disappear..
Into the beauty of the emptiness..

Here’s a link to their new album: http://auralmusic.bandcamp.com/album/vegfer-t-mans

Fortíð – 9

Fortíðs 9 just arrived in the mail. Fortíð is a Viking/Black metal band that was founded in Iceland, though most of it’s members are from Norway. 9 is their 5th album and is a concept album of Odin (Woden, Wuotan).

The album starts off with the song Hrafnar (Ravens) where you get to hear just why I love this band. You have this slow atmospheric start only to be blown away by the sheer force of drums and black metal riffs. The album continues throughout in this style with a mixture of singing, growling and chanting, all in Icelandic of course. If you’re a fan of the darker side of black metal with then I highly suggest this. 82/100

The album can be bought digitally here: http://schwarzdornproduction.bandcamp.com/album/9-sd47cd

Or physically here: http://fortid.bigcartel.com/

WMB: Iceland

This weekend I went to the Icelandic Wacken Metal Battle. A good concert and disappointing contest.

The concert started with the band Aeterna doing a small opening set, which was quite enjoyable. They play progressive death metal which is they do very well.
https://aeternaiceland.bandcamp.com/releases

Röskun was the first to go on stage, a metal band from Akureyri. They started off by stationing the drum kit to the side (most odd). They had attempts at using traditional vocalization, which failed as none of them have a voice that is nearly powerful enough. The entire performance was sub-par the instrumentals were OK but nothing special.

Narthraal followed Röskun, I’ve seen Narthraal on a couple of occasions but this set was disappointing, the sound was off. The singing too at some points. In all honesty it was probably the worst set I’ve seen them do. Narthraal claim to play ‘old school’ death metal. I do not quite agree, but death metal sure.
http://narthraal1.bandcamp.com/

In the company of men took the stage right thereafter, and to my dismay they won the contest. They play Hardcore/Mathcore/Jazzcore. As made obvious in the last sentence I am not a fan. In fact I dislike most if not all hardcore so I’m guessing I can’t really judge them, to me they suck and that’s all I’ll say.
https://itcom.bandcamp.com/

Oni followed ITCOM, a group of great musicians with no group charisma. A technical stoner band with zero groove. I could not enjoy it. I’ve seen this band on multiple occasions and on some of those I’ve seen them empty venues. It didn’t come as a surprise that they didn’t get placed.
https://oniiceland.bandcamp.com/releases

Churchhouse Creepers placed third, which was no surprise. They were a true crowd pleaser with their Stoner Rock/Party Rock. Oddly enough even I enjoyed that. Between the catchy riffs and amusing lyrics they grabbed the audience with them and the front of the stage had people dancing about happily and smiling.

Auðn were the last of the contestants to go on stage and earned second place. They played a good albeit problematic set, they apparently had some technical difficulties during some of their songs, despite that their performance was great.
https://audnofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

The evening was finished off with a great set by the Vintage Caravan, a wonderful performance. Even though the person in charge of the lighting was attempting to burn my corneas.

Music: Utstøtt – Hjørungavåg

I just purchaced the album Hjørungavåg by the band Utstött, which is available as a ‘pay-what-you-want’ item on their Bandcamp site (https://utstott.bandcamp.com/album/hj-rungav-gr), and on playing it through I’m captivated by it’s amazing scenery. It starts out with this ominous sound and a slight melody, only to continue on to engulf you in it’s raw tremolo picking and guttural singing, this unfortunately is disturbed by weird battle sounds which are probably made to relate with the battle of Hjörungavågr but it diminishes the starting track of the album instead of complimenting it. It of course makes up for it in continuing tracks which are oddly enough filled with a mixture of black metal-ish music mixed with natural ambient sounds and at one point the song of birds. All in all I think it’s a fantastic album, that deserves a listen, although I admit it feels a bit too raw on parts, like the double singing, the mixing could’ve been better. A definite 7.3/10 from me.