[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”From an interview with Stacja Islandia”]Music without atmosphere is not interesting music to me. I’ve always thought that “atmospheric black metal” should not be called a sub-genre of black metal because black metal as a genre isn’t what it is unless it’s atmospheric. It’s all about atmosphere! At least that’s my opinion. When an atmosphere in a song catches my attention, I seize the moment, and try to create my own atmosphere from that inspiration. Lively melodies are also important. I used to be in a choir where I got a lot of inspiration for all sorts of musical craftsmanship. Different melodies bundled together into various chords and such inspired me to pay extra attention to the connection between rhythm and lead parts.[/pullquote]
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Even though Misþyrming‘s debut (and so far only) album Söngvar Elds Og Óreiðu (Songs Of Fire And Chaos [Google]) starts out with a regular black metal cacaphony of fast riffing and blastbeats, the album is actually pretty remarkable when you consider just how many diverse, different influences can be heard throughout the album’s 43 minutes.
While it is definitely, unmistakably black metal at the core, there is this same willingness, perhaps even need, to grab stuff from all around – like you also see with bands like Den Saakaldte – grabbing hold of signatures of other genres, then incorporating them into the overall sound and picture, in essence making them parts of the new black.
There’s a good old-fashioned blues-dirge, there’s dark rock of the Nick Cave tradition, there’s thrash, there’s post-hardcore, there’s even some Sonic Youth-like guitar-work – all of it incorporated close to seamlessly in the overall dark, harsh, grimy sound.
Resulting in an album that is at the same time confined and far-reaching. An album that is mindblowing, sweeping you off your feet, hurling you through space and time – body and soul – sometimes slowly floating, sometimes head-over-heels, never quite knowing if the darkness before you is the simple absence of light, or the approaching abyss.
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And the performance is equally impressive, with great depth and weight in the vocals, raw yet clear sound and production, and truly impressive drumming which always fits perfectly into whichever specific musical ideas are being expounded.
Based on a single album, it might seem as a bold gamble for Roadburn to name Misþyrming “Artist In Residence” (thus joining venerable names like Justin K. Broadrick and Enslaved), but, on the strength of this album, on the abundance of ideas and impressive musical execution, and on the strength and inventiveness of the Icelandic black metal-scene as such and the much-lauded Úlfsmessa (Wolf’s Mass) in particular, it quite simply feels like a logical choice. A choice that seems as much made on the strength of past accomplishments as on the prospects of future triumphs.
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For anyone even remotely interested in black metal it should be imperative to catch at least one of the 3 shows Misþyrming will play at Roadburn – the more the “merrier”…
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Kim Kelly presenting Misþyrming for Roadburn”]My own impression of Úlfsmessa is one of awe and reverence; I’m honored to have been able to witness it twice on its native soil, and am so incredibly excited to share in its third incarnation and first performance outside Iceland with the rest of the Roadburn faithful. As I wrote in a review of this past summer’s Eistnaflug, “Watching the Úlfsmessa was a truly visceral experience—I could taste the wine, smell the burning wax, feel the stage shuddering beneath my hands and the distortion rattling my bones and the hairs standing up on the back of my neck whenever one of the hooded figures drew closer. It was frightening in its beauty, and beautiful in its harsh ugliness. What they created up there was raw, and intense, and chilled us to the bone. It reminded me why I love black metal so fiercely, and gave me hope for the future of a genre so often allowed to fester.[/pullquote]
Misþyrming will play Algleymi on Thursday 14 April, Úlfsmessa on Friday 15 April – both at Het Patronaat, and Söngvar elds og óreiðu at the 013 venue on Saturday 16 April at Roadburn Festival, Tilburg, The Netherlands.
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|Söngvar elds og óreiðu||LP (2015)|
Interview quote from Stacja Islandia