Saga Á Tveim Tungum II: Eigi Fjǫll Né Firðir
(Ván Records)

Iceland seems to evolve to another creative force in the international Black Metal scene. Totally unknown to me, ÁRSTÍÐIR LÍFSINS already unleashes their fifth album. Starting with a long, stringed intro with waterfalls, birds and spoken passages the band immediately caught me into their world and calmed me down from the current problems and fears. ‘Ek Býð Þik Velkominn’ merges straight into ‘Bróðir, Var Þat Þín Hǫnd’ which sounds like a story getting told in a dark cave before the first Black Metal track starts in form of ‘Sem Járnklær Nætr Dragask Nærri’, which is Black Metal at its best. Grim vocals in the vein of MAYHEM combined with freezing guitars comparable to ENSLAVED or the mentioned MAYHEM but with a slight more melodic approach comparable to their landmates SINMARA or the even better known MISÞYRMING. Anyway, their Folk or Pagan parts with choral chants and slowly drumming gives them an own identity and the material is so matured that this is far above average listening to their compositions. Instrumentation, guitar work and song structures really are outstanding and should give them more attention in the Black Metal underground especially as they manage not to sound wimpy without playing the garage styled raw Black Metal. ‘Gamalt Ríki Faðmar Þá Grænu Ok Svǫrtu Hringi Lífs Ok Aldrslita’ increases the speed and has a slight Death Metal painting. Again the intense and precise drumming is worth to mention but also the grim vocals really spread a dark and gloomy atmosphere. The violin parts and the strings incorporated in the background are brilliant and it is a shame that the band has not passed my path before. Track five ‘Um Nætr Reika Skepnr’ is another stringed interlude as the story seems to get interrupted before ‘Heiftum Skal Mána Kveðja’ continues with viking touched material in the vein of mighty ENSLAVED. ‘Er Hin Gullna Stjarna Skýjar Slóðar Rennr Rauð’ with its melodic lead guitar lines is melodic Black Metal at its finest and the choral vocals are really good and not annoying at all as they always find the balance not to overdo it. After the interlude ‘Um Nóttu, Mér Dreymir Þursa Þjóðar Sjǫt Brennandi’ the last track ‘Ek Sá Halr At Hóars Veðri Hǫsvan Serk Hrísgrísnis Bar’ offers the last intense Black Metal pearl with all mentioned trademarks but a damn good atmosphere and a brilliant guitar part in the middle. The only thing left for me here is to recommend ÁRSTÍÐIR LÍFSINS to all Black Metal fans out there. You will definitely not be disappointed at all. For more info, check the following sources: www.facebook.com/arstidirlifsins, www.van-records.de

Michael Kujawska

Michael Kujawska

Related reviews / interviews:
ÁRSTÍÐIR LÍFSINS - Saga Á Tveim Tungum I: Vápn Ok Viðr (Julián "Fregit Hefk Satt" Núñez)

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