Release: 21 March 2014
Label: Van Records
The Icelandic band Árstíðir Lífsins doesn’t know how to stop. At the end of 2013, they already released a split with Helrunar. Right now they’re back with an own EP, called ‘Þættir úr sögu norðrs’, which can roughly be translated as ‘Elements from the Nordic History’. People who are familiar with the band know where this is going.
Árstíðir Lífsins continues where they left of last year. Raw black metal in a high pace, interchanged with atmospheric pieces. In the three relatively long songs (all longer than 6 minutes), this divergence is used as the biggest strength of the band. Atmosphere is an important part of the band’s music, and the acoustic pieces with spoken lyrics and choirs are a nice contrast with the harsh pounding black metal.
Although the first song is quite fast-paced, the tempo goes down at the second song ‘Þórsdrápa II‘. It seems they want to create a mystical, almost ominous atmosphere, with spoken lyrics on a background of acoustic guitars, violin and cello. Something the band achieved pretty well. The last song, ‘Hrafns þáttr réttláta’ seems to start in a similar way, until after the intro the atmospheric part is interchanged by some great pagan black metal in the truest sense of the word. This last song is a great example of the music this band plays nowadays.
Even though this EP consists of only 3 songs, it’s a great way to keep the fans entertained. The songs are well structured and provide a perfect balance between harsher black metal and softer atmospheric parts. Definitely recommendable!
- Þórsdrápa I 06:36
- Þórsdrápa II 07:27
- Hrafns þáttr réttláta 08:52