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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
02. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
03. Soror Dolorosa
- Apollo
04. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
05. Myrkur
- Mareridt
06. Sun Of The Sleepless
- To The Elements
07. Moonspell
- 1755
08. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
09. Andras
- Reminiszenzen...
10. Svartsinn
- Mørkets Variabler

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Sólstafir - Berdreyminn (2017) - Review

Band: Sólstafir
Album title: Berdreyminn
Release date: 26 May 2017
Label: Season Of Mist

Tracklist:
01. Silfur-Refur
02. Ísafold
03. Hula
04. Nárós
05. Hvít Sæng
06. Dýrafjörður
07. Ambátt
08. Bláfjall

More than 20 years on the scene, facing ups and downs, never broken, but absolutely one of those bands that since their beginning are considered as one of the most original and inovative metal/rock acts out there, mainly inspired by the environment in which they live, cold Icelandic lands. Sólstafir with their highly recognizable and unique sound are absolutely hard to categorize, many have tried and almost everybody comes up with a different description, but yet it's pretty sure that if Pink Floyd, Bjork or Sigur Rós would be making metal or hard rock music than something similar to this would come up. Now Sólstafir offers to the world their sixth album named Berdreyminn, another chapter, another piece of the puzzle with which we are invited on the journey to explore the magical sonic world that only these four guys can offer.

Berdreyminn is a masterpiece by all means, just like it was Ótta (2014) or Svartir Sandar (2011), there's not much to add. The band sticks to the approved formula, yet on every their album we can find kind of new levels of atmospheric soundscapes, masterfully inducted surprises, in a word a whole new world to discover which is still familiar to those who were listening to any of Sólstafir's albums before. Berdreyminn might not be so very melancholic like it was Ótta and is maybe a little less epic than it was Svartir Sandar, but most certainly on here Sólstafir offer some of the best elements taken from each of their previous albums, yet spicing it up with some new things, they simply pushed it on the next level.

Listening to Sólstafir is just like walking through cold Icelandic land, you can almost feel the struggle of people who tried to survive in that hostile land, but yet there's kind of emotional warmth implemented in there, and it's nothing strange if the listener can barely hold the tears back while these soul melting melodies and highly expressive vocals snitch the senses. Like probably all of you know the lyrics are all in Icelandic language, that certainly adds a special dimension to everything, and believe me you don't need to understand the words, you'll feel them. The whole thing is so very vivid, picturesque and absolutely immersive.

I think that it's almost meaningless to expose any of the tracks, this album is for me one long epic story which should be consumed in one piece, but ok, "Hula", first half of "Hvít Sæng" and "Dýrafjörður" almost made me cry, these songs where nothing else in this world really matters anymore, the whole feeling while listening to it is almost weightless, just listen to that melancholic piano and so very intense and immersive vocals, sometimes backened by captivating female chants. Still, everything gets its real sense only as a totality which guides you through very different emotional states of mind. Pretty introspective, sometimes psychedelic, other times a bit shoegazy, also avantgardish, but throughout so very captivating.

On this ever evolving dynamic sonic journey you'll find many upbeat parts with dirty driving guitars, like in the second half of "Nárós", what a wonderful post-rocking riff in here... Sometimes they are inserting some jazzy/progressive elements, but they are never exagerating with experimentations, so the soundscapes are always very flowing, pretty comfortable, almost unearthly and above all very subtle with so much depth. Intentionally rather rough production certainly adds another dimension and makes the whole experience even more intense. Sólstafir's Berdreyminn is eclectic by a conscious choice to make feelings audible and transform taste as well as texture to sound. Berdreyminn is an adventure, still pretty dark album and beside extravagant instrumentations, only intense feelings of longing, joy, pain, nostalgia and melancholy take over the senses here and leads the listener into uncharted territories. Beautiful!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9,5/10

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Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Hymnambulae
Album title: Orgelhuset
Release date: 15 May 2016
Label: Hypnagoga Press

Hymnambulae is the product of siblings Par and Asa Bostrom. The Swedish duo release Orgelhuset as the first album on their nascent label, Hypnagoga Press. Par's magnificent grasp on sound manipulation, field recordings, and deep emotive drones is quite obvious throughout Orgelhuset. It seems that Asa has brought a very mystical, warm and more personal aspect into the fold, giving a perfect balance to Par's often cold and desolate musical output. These opposing forces naturally feed right into the concept of Orgelhuset. The siblings seem to speak from many places without ever leaving the organ house. The dichotomy of these opposites coming together brings a strong sense of mystery enshrouded in mysticism. Cold winds are felt as they penetrate the organ house while there is at once a warmth radiating from within. Fans of ambient, dark ambient, and neo-classical will all find aspects of this album to embrace and enjoy.

Read a full review HERE