09 November, 2013

Full Album Stream: Sólstafir: Í Blóði Og Anda – reissue


Iceland. Did you know that 65% of Icelandic children were born outside marriage? Did you know that knitting has long been a national obsession there, men included? Did you know that Icelandic people do not like eating ugly animals (such as lobsters) but have no problem consuming dishes such as boiled and cured ram's testicles, putrescent shark meat, sheep's loins cured in lactic acid, and singed sheep's head? Did you know beer was banned there until 1989? And lastly, did you know that Iceland's most unusual attraction is the Icelandic Phallological Museum, which houses the world's largest display of penises and penile parts (the collection of 280 specimens from 93 species of animals allegedly includes 55 penises taken from whales, 36 from seals and 118 from land mammals, allegedly including elves and trolls)? Therefore SÓLSTAFIR being referred to as Icelandic heathens by their label, Season Of Mist, isn’t an oxymoron after all. Be as it may, their album debut ‘Í Blóði Og Anda’, which translates as “In Blood And Spirit”, was released in 2002 and went out-of-print almost immediately upon its release. Season Of Mist has just made this rarity available again (November 12th, 2013 in North America) plus a bonus second disc full of previously unreleased material. (“Take a good look at this stunning snapshot that exposes the earliest roots of this incredible band!”) The album is now re-mastered, repackaged and is available as a double CD and in various LP formats via Season Of Mist e-shop here and via BandCamp here:

Formed by guitarist and vocalist Aðalbjörn Tryggvason, bassist Halldór Einarsson and drummer Guðmundur Óli Pálmason in 1995 in Iceland, SÓLSTAFIR's musical journey started a year later with a demo tape ‘Í Norðri’, followed by another demo ‘Til Valhallar’, already featuring that distinctive sound described as “pitch black as the volcanic ashes of their Icelandic home” by just about anyone who venture to describe SÓLSTAFIR's sound. Halldór left in 1997 and the band recruited Svavar Austmann as his replacement, before recording SÓLSTAFIR first full-length, ‘Í Blóði Og Anda’, released in 2002 by now defunct label Ars Metalli. Strengthened by second guitarist Sæþór Maríus “Pjúddi” Sæþórsson, the group recorded ‘Black Death’ demo, followed by ‘Black Death’ EP, both issued in 2002. Second album, 2005's ‘Masterpiece Of Bitterness’, was SÓLSTAFIR debut on Spinefarm Records, which, along with third offering, 2009's ‘Köld’, gained high acclaim from critics and fans alike. SÓLSTAFIR's (Icelandic for “crepuscular rays”) latest release entitled ‘Svartir Sandar’ (Icelandic for “black sands”), was issued through Season Of Mist in. The album, recorded in Studio Sundlaugin (“and in various places in Iceland”), produced by Fredrik Reinedahl and Aðalbjörn Tryggvason, mixed by Fredrik Reinedahl and mastered by Göran Finnberg at Mastering Room in Gothenburg, received high acclaim by critics and fans alike:
“What the sprawling ‘Svartir Sandar’ actually sounds like is Robert Smith [vocalist, THE CURE] playing krautrock in a fjord, or perhaps KYUSS regrouping in Reykjavik and trading their desert rock for, well, lava-field rock - equally drawn-out and groovy, but also grim like an Icelandic sunset in November, plowing ahead on steady, dynamic rhythms that induce a sort of trance laden with Nordic imagery,” [couldn’t help himself Alexey Eremenko, AllMusic] “Addi Tryggvason's singing is almost clean, but there’s an edge of desperation to his shouting that draws on BURZUM, but really recalls THE CURE - while the jagged, acidic, reverb-drained guitars sound close to SHELLAC's school of alt-rock or, indeed, KYUSS, only darker than Homme [Josh, songwriter and guitarist] and company have ever been, though the music also feels strangely open and cold, like a glacier or a distant planet,” [he continued - more here:]

SÓLSTAFIR features: Aðalbjörn Tryggvason - guitar and vocals, Guðmundur Óli Pálmason – drums, Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson – guitar and Svavar Austmann – bass

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