Posts Tagged ‘Album of the day’

Album of the Day: Sólstafir – Ótta

Posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Ave Noctum: With so many cookie-cutter bands around jumping into the nearest genre and ‘paying homage’ to all that has gone before, it’s sometimes difficult to get your head around exactly where a band like Sólstafir is coming from. Like all things new, it takes a bit of work. After years of having these guys on my list of bands to make some time for, occasionally dipping my toe in the water, but never really making the effort to get my head around things, I was finally, and without ceremony plunged in at the deep end with Ótta.

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Overdue, but better late than never, I primed myself with the a bit of background reading – namely the amazing Hellfest appearance earlier this year – which probably served as one of the best adverts for a band I ever came across in a single lunch hour. My defences were down and I stood ready for the challenge. Part post-black metal, part pulsing folk rock, a bit of let-it-wash-over-you shoegaze and a decent slice of the Icelandic spirit might fill in a few gaps but, as usual with bands of such pedigree, the sum of the parts never quite captures the point of Sólstafir.

Even after the briefest of spins, the grand beauty of the debut Í Blóði Og Anda is self evident while later albums have smoothed off some of those harsher post-hardcore edges and laid bare the Sólstafir vision. What we have arrived at here is not exactly more mellow – although anyone that comes into this from the more extreme end of the metal spectrum would certainly consider it to be so.

But it is certainly less raging, less frenetically random. It’s almost as if the band has now made its mind up about life, the universe and everything – and has set about with Ótta weighing up existence as a whole rather than charging through dismantling it piece by piece. No less emotional, but those emotions through the years have become more refined, more focused and less likely to switch and leave you hanging.

Like their neighbours Enslaved from across the Norwegian Sea, they have developed a sound all of their own even if that sound was far more apparent from the word go with Sólstafir, who have retained elements of each album with them throughout their career – with each one unmistakably belonging to the band whichever angle you come from.

Where all this has taken us, is here to Ótta – one of the band’s most complete and most focused albums to date. It contains all the tortured anguish and melancholy of previous releases but this time the drifting post rock has reached the perfect meeting place with the more ambient, acoustic elements to the point where it almost impossible to notice where the two join together. Post rock most definitely, perhaps even prog, but with an almost casual way of enveloping you like the best of black metal.

Continue reading: Sólstafir – Ótta (Season Of Mist) | Ave Noctum

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Album of the Day: Joy – Under the Spell of Joy

Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from ThisIsNotAScene: Flutes! Kaftan! Action! Under the Spell of Joy begins with a smoky, swirling folky vibe of flutes and bewitching melodies before pounding in with thick, savage grooves, bug eyed, semi-shouted vocals on Miles Away – the sound bursting barely containable through the vintage gear. It takes […]

Album of the Day: Pallbearer – Foundations Of Burden

Posted on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Pallbearer’s Sorrow and Extinction emerged as the sleeper (metal) album of 2012, eventually finding itself at the top of many end of year best lists and burned into the minds of listeners new to the scene; unfortunately, the signature strengths that define the core […]

Album of the Day: The Heads – Everyone Knows That We Got Nowhere

Posted on Monday, August 18th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: I shit you not, you goggle-eyed loons, but Bristol’s legendary (yet strangely unsung) psych-heroes The Heads are possibly the definitive uber-cult stoner-psych band of the late 20th/ early 21st century. I have a hunch that possibly the majority of people reading this review have […]

Album of the Day: Panopticon – Roads To The North

Posted on Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Lovingly pinced from About.com: Heavy Metal: Austin Lunn has always maintained a visionary take on black metal with his Panopticon project. The last few albums have seen him perfect the combination of a folksy atmosphere with the jagged fury of raw black metal. That pairing is further experimented on during […]

Album of the Day: Black Anvil – Hail Death

Posted on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Sea of Tranquility: There’s been a bit of positive press lately (promotional stuff, mostly) about Black Anvil‘s cover of Kiss‘s ‘Under the Rose.’ The praise is well deserved: not only is the cover superb, it gives the classic song a slightly harder edge. It’s worth a listen. […]

Album of the Day: Mamaleek – He Never Spoke a Mumblin’ Word

Posted on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Meat Mead Metal: There is no question metal has changed a lot on the past 10 years. Hell, in the last five. A lot of different things fit under this massive umbrella, and that tends to bother some of the rank-and-file, who want this to be one […]

Album of the Day: The Great Sabatini – Dog Years

Posted on Monday, July 28th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Montreal’s The Great Sabatini are one of the latest additions to the excellent French label Solar Flare Records’ roster, and with label mates ranging from Sofy Major to Pigs, you could probably hazard a guess before hearing them that they’re going to enjoy damaging […]

Album of the Day: Blues Pills – S/T

Posted on Friday, July 25th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Ave Noctum: If you’ve either followed this site, or for some unknown reason followed my mad ramblings, you’ll be well aware of the massive regard I hold for Blues Pills, having previously given glowing reviews for their EPs Devil Man and Live at Rockpalast, both of which […]

Album of the Day: The Order of the Solar Temple – S/T

Posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from Ave Noctum: There is something about the retro-sounding rock and metal which just grips you and this Vancouver based trio, created by Matt “Macarbe” Emery, The Order of the Solar Temple has it all. The proto-metal styled sounds of the legendary Blue Öyster Cult with healthy doses […]

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