Solstafir – Í Blóði og Anda (Season of Mist)

Wednesday, 20th November 2013
Rating: 8/10

Maniacs, these Solstafir gents. This happens to be a reissue of the band’s 2002 Í Blóði og Anda (“In Blood and Spirit”) debut, but their 2011 Svartir Sandir should get some mondo loving before anything else. (It did from DR two years ago.) Anyway, taking into the context what the heck was going on with Icelandic extreme music at the time, this is a pretty pointed stabby-stab of rambunctious post-metal; it’s probably more lined with punk when getting granular, but those nice little melodic chord choices bring it all back, and give some leeway as to where the band was eventually headed.

The cool dudes at Season of Mist have made this a 2CD set, with the second comprising of various demos from the actual album. Therefore, we’ll lean on the main tracks, specifically the raucous “The Underworld Song,” a number hardly lacking in sway, and when a bombastic drum fill comes in the separate everything, that’s when the real rocking begins. “Tormentor” is even more frenzied, a shot off the DEP bow, just without math being involved. Some the dramatic dynamics that made Svartir Sandir so cool head up “Ei Við Munum Iðrast,” which might be the album’s high point, complete with a finger-tapping guitar solo.

With Icelandic being the band’s primary language (all of the songs save for the cleanly-sung “Bitch in Black”), one might as well look past the frothy, indecipherable vocals and take stock in Solstafir’s range and recklessness. Clearly the product of a young band just finding their footing, Í Blóði og Anda holds up mightily well today, even after numerous bands have taken a pass at being this lawless with their sound. And like we were saying before – Svartir Sandir is a gem. Í Blóði og Anda is pretty rockin’ too.

Solstafir official site