Misthyrming
Söngvar elds og óreiðu


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ain Soph Aur CONTRIBUTOR (35 Reviews)
March 9th, 2015 | 264 replies


Release Date: 02/08/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For all the originality this album bears, never does it compromise the cold, unwavering qualities that made black metal such a special genre to begin with.

Not much would strike you as inherently unique about Iceland’s Misþyrming until around three minutes into their debut album Söngvar elds og óreiðu. See, up until then, the music is fairly straightforward for the style. Not to say that’s a bad thing, as it’s definitely not. Misþyrming know how to create beautifully dissonant and pounding black metal with layers of swirling ambient and melody as the driving current beneath the surface, but it’s not until the listener hits that three-minute mark that this duo stops being “predictable” and solidifies themselves not only as fantastic songwriters, but as one of the biggest standouts in black metal in 2015.

2:25 is where the change begins: the band slows down from their furious tremolo riffing and blast beats and locks into a mid-paced groove. It feels meditative, welcome, like a breakdown that helps usher the listener into the album, but then we get to the three-minute mark and the music shifts entirely into a dissonant, melodic, psychedelic riff. Angelic voices--or maybe just well done synths--rise behind the music and H.R.H.’s drums start with a basic pattern before he kicks in with double bass drums. Eventually the drums progress into another blistering blast beat, all while this one guitar riff plays, yet is changed into an entirely new beast with each tiny shift in dynamic. This one riff is given a new meaning and aesthetic as the rest of the music changes around it. The guitarist/vocalist D.G. belts out his low-end howls and the music picks back up in the same ruthless manner as at the beginning of the song, only more chaotic and intense.

It’s this kind of progression in songwriting that makes Misþyrming such a creative band. They take the solid foundations of great black metal and push that fold with smart, subtle songwriting that is more effective than most others in the modern scene. Where many bands are looking to make black metal as diverse as possible, mutating it and pulling it out by the root, Misþyrming are staying true to what makes the genre a force to be reckoned with. Deep, ritualised ambient passages permeate the record, but don’t sound as tired as just ripping off Burzum’s ambiance, or trying to emulate Beherit’s unique approach to ritual. Most of the ambient here is underlying the black metal tracks, but embodies itself wholly in ‘Frostauðn’ and ‘Stjörnuþoka’, based around haunting, droning synthesisers and noise. There’s more to these tracks than just “filler”, and being engulfed in the ambiance of the final track, the listener has a chance to meditate on the album before its end, rather than being thrust out of it in a swirl of guitars and distortion.

It’s not only Misþyrming’s approach to song structure that makes them stand out, but also the way the guitarist approaches melody. One minute it’ll have a thick, vicious tone, the next it’ll have a wailing melodic solo riding beneath it, and this kind of production gives the music a whole new aesthetic. Instead of the solos soaring over the rest of the music, the melodies are like an atmospheric wave beneath the pummelling rhythmic riffs. It’s too easy to call these dissonant riffs “Deathspell Omega” influenced; there’s more to it than that, and it’s a slight to the band--or any band, for that matter--to quickly jump at the opportunity to cry “Deathspell Omega!” at the first sign of disharmonic guitars. Within a currently flourishing Icelandic scene, Misþyrming, much like their peers, create unique atmospheres with their experimental edges to songwriting. It’s particularly evident on the track ‘Söngur uppljómunar’: this mid-paced track sounds like a blackened heavy metal song with melodic structures and atonal, grooving riffs, and is a distinctive track within the context of the album.

Misþyrming is here to show that black metal doesn’t need to be diluted post-rock and twinkling crescendos to sound majestic or massive, doesn’t need to be unnecessarily technical or structurally haphazard to feel progressive, and doesn’t need to be overly ambitious with everything it does to be effectual. Söngvar elds og óreiðu is one of the best records of the year so far, and only continues to impress over multiple listens with its deeply subtle and thoughtful songwriting. For all the originality this album bears, never does it compromise the cold, unwavering qualities that made black metal such a special genre to begin with.



Recent reviews by this author
Antichrist Sinful BirthTaphos Nomos / Urdun RIP
Julia Holter In the Same RoomMount Eerie A Crow Looked At Me
Death Scream Bloody GoreGorephilia Severed Monolith
user ratings (161)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
DJPaulsGimpArm (3.5)
Straight up icy, raging black metal, in leather and spikes, with plenty of atmosphere and exceptiona...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ComeToDaddy
March 9th 2015


1485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Phenomenal review man, you really did the album justice. Reads like a 4.5, but that's not really a surprise, I can't find a single thing to fault this album on.



Edit: fixed

ComeToDaddy
March 9th 2015


1485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, and pos'd

DJPaulsGimpArm
March 9th 2015


49 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Aw, man, I just finished up writing a review for this! Great job, yours is probably better than mine.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2015


15675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This looks interesting, will check

Digging: CHON - Homey

titanslayer
March 9th 2015


2713 Comments


This sounds awesome

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2015


4921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really liked the carnival-y piano, but that's just me. This album is brilliant. Pos'd.

Wizard
March 9th 2015


20082 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It’s this kind of progression in songwriting that makes Misþyrming such a creative band. They take the solid foundations of great black metal and push that fold with smart, subtle songwriting that is more effective than most others in the modern scene.



Please write more reviews. In fact, please write a decent review for new Leviathan, pretty-please! Review was an excellent and informative read.



Props to zaruyache for showing me this.



Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2015


9989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, pos'd. The only thing I'm not fond of is that whole second paragraph basically check listing the different progressions through one song, but as far as the way you did it, it wasn't bad.

cvlts
March 9th 2015


9410 Comments


gave this a listen and ya legit stuff. good review man

Digging: Full of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy

SpiritCrusher2
March 9th 2015


5430 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Gameofmetal seems like you didn't get the purpose of that 2nd paragraph?

btw that part is probably my favorite moment on the album haha



anyway, great review, awesome album. probably my 2nd fav this year

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2015


9989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"@Gameofmetal seems like you didn't get the purpose of that 2nd paragraph?"



I just think those kinds of descriptions get tedious, but as far as they go, Ov didn't do badly at it.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2015


15675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't disagree with you Game, but this is by far his best review so I'm not complaining.

zaruyache
March 9th 2015


17037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

blasty blast blast zaru digeth 8|





This has been on my radar for like six months--they took their grand 'ol time putting it out.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2015


9989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You're not too big shot to ignore feedback now are ya

Greyvy
March 9th 2015


5802 Comments


sweet shit right here

zaruyache
March 10th 2015


17037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I think I'd pos'd it already lulz. dm is kreg

Benc
March 10th 2015


64 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review for an even greater album. The cover art is fantastic too!

LordePots
March 11th 2015


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is tight as feck

Digging: Lambsbreath - MANFEELINGS

Greyvy
March 11th 2015


5802 Comments


the part you mention in the second paragraph is so good, the change was so sudden and perfectly executed. took me by surprise and all i could do was nod my head in rhythm

zaruyache
March 11th 2015


17037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I found that, lol that's awesome.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy