This is a nice trip through emotions and musical styles and moods. Listen as the songs flow and just let all your emotions out.
This is kind of a pretentious description, but it’s clearly what this album aims to do: let you experience emotions and atmospheres, and feel like a sort of strange daydream. That’s what it’s all about. To achieve that goal, it constantly changes styles and moods, often on one song alone.
So the best things to describe about this album are the musical genres it uses, and the moods it expresses. For example, let’s mention the melancholy of tracks like Her Fall From Grace, Drysill’s alternating between mellowness and despair, or Akkeri’s shifting between mellowness and eeriness. Akkeri could be described as a metal version of a melancholic folk song, with guitars that sound like wind howling during the middle part. Drysill has a sort of gothic music influence, and ends on faster riffs and the band going “whoah-oh-oh”. Her Fall from Grace is a very long heartbreaking ballad. But Dyonisus is a nod to Sólstafir’s earlier black metal style.
Despite some black metal-influenced tracks and heavier riffs, this album includes more clean vocals than harsh ones. Aðalbjörn Tryggvason mostly sings in a sad, pleading voice, or often in a mellow yet melancholic tone. He also uses a quieter, almost whispery delivery on Til Moldar, speak-sings most of Rökkur, with a few yells, and can still shriek on the heavier tracks. Aside from the many uses of his voice, what really grabs your attention about his performance is its emotional openness. It’s impossible not to be moved by his desperate, pleading singing and screaming. With this album, the band was trying to express emotions without fear or shame, and this is what they do, earning all our sympathy in the process.
So this is another of these album that’s really interesting to talk about. As I said, what’s most fun to describe about it is its moods and musical styles, because this album is mainly about creating atmospheres and expressing emotions. I love albums that are all about creating a mood, or moods, so, I get this one, even though I don’t completely love it. It’s an acquired taste, I guess.
I mean, the first time I heard it, I didn’t get it, I understood what they were going for, and I thought there were many good ideas, but this was not an easy album to get into. That’s a pretentious title, for starters, and those songs are so long… I also thought the vocals could often be whiny, shrill and annoying. But I always give the albums I have to review two listens. After the second listen, I think I enjoy this album a lot more. The flaws I just mentioned are no longer a problem for me, though I see how they could be for some people. But now, I can appreciate the good qualities of this album, and enjoy it. It was great to review, and has many good ideas, so do give a listen to this one. It’s not perfect, but it’s still something that really deserves to be listened to.
Release date: November 6th, 2020
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