Sinmara
Hvísl Stjarnanna


4.0
excellent

Review

by TheSpirit CONTRIBUTOR (149 Reviews)
March 10th, 2019 | 59 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: behold salvation’s deformed visage

Coming from a scene blessed with an unnaturally high concentration of talent, Hvisl Stjarnanna is the record that finally pushes Sinmara to the vanguard of Icelandic black metal. Since forming in Reykjavik a decade ago, the enigmatic quintet has released a gnarly debut, two splits, and an excellent EP, with each bringing further refinement to the band's disso-dominated beginnings. At a sprawling 42 minutes of celestial-worshiping black metal, Hvisl Stjarnanna shows that Sinmara is keenly aware of their scorched roots, but have eyes to the stars above.

They've come to understand how important the balance between harmony and havoc - a particularly dubious quality to master - can be in the realization and execution of a truly compelling black metal album. And it's not just the fact they now posses such intensely melodic arrangements within their Deathspell Omega-inspired cacophony - it's how they wield them. Despair dresses the introduction to first track "Apparitions", but Sinmara's newfound duality is immediately recognizable in following song, "Mephitic Haze". Though birthed in a stormy miasma of tuneless atmosphere, bolts of melody soon pierce through the tumult, their tendrils proliferating a grey-hued sky.

Their focus on creating a neigh impenetrable wall of sound hasn't shifted per say, but they've learned to embellish. With a widened palette comes nuance, as each track -especially the standout number "Crimson Stars" - displays a considerable amount of character and depth that begs to be revisited. While that same density could possibly prevent some from returning, upon repeated listens these intricacies become more welcome, each point of disparity evolving into its own defining moment.

As a culmination of their career contained within the confines of a singular album, Hvisl Stjarnanna is the ideal showcase to display just how far the band has come in the ten years since their formation. It feels impossible to deny Sinmara a spot in the pantheon of the Icelandic scene now. It's a distinction they rightfully deserve, as not only one of the best bands to come from their home country, but one of the best in the genre.



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user ratings (58)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2019


25121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I actually didn't think there was too much to say about this album, but regardless I very much enjoyed it. Up there with the best in black metal so far this year.

Digging: Remete (AUS) - Into Endless Night

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2019


15254 Comments


havent checked any black metal this year, but i think i'll listen to this. great review as always man

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2019


8941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lost track of these dudes after the amazing debut, definitely gonna revisit that and listen to this. Review is a great service to what the album aims for, well done. 42 minutes is also a rather comfortable runtime, not too short and not overly-indulgent.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2019


25121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thank you both! Appreciate it!

Firedust
March 10th 2019


895 Comments


Yes, this rules from what I've heard.

Elynna
March 10th 2019


344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, love the atmosphere on this one

Digging: Furia - Ksiezyc milczy luty

Hawks
March 10th 2019


69449 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing album yeah.

Digging: Illyria - The Carpathian Summit

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2019


25121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

glad ya'll are enjoying it!

Papa Universe
March 10th 2019


20604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a great album

Digging: Haimad - The Return

Azog
March 10th 2019


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Way more interesting than their debut. Excellent stuff.

necropig
March 10th 2019


5250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

m/m/

Digging: Body Void - You Will Know The Fear You Forced Upon Us

Hawks
March 10th 2019


69449 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love their other stuff too but yeah this is their best release so far by a wide margin.

Dinosaur
March 10th 2019


1332 Comments


Nice review. I agree. Sinmara knows when to use melody and how not to overuse it. That puts this very high on 2019.

Slex
March 10th 2019


6468 Comments


Very excited to listen 2 this tonite

Digging: Blessed (CAN) - Salt

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


9388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ruinous black metal, i dig.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


25121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

glad everyone seems to be enjoying this

frozencarl
March 11th 2019


637 Comments


cant fukin wait to see these dudes next month

Digging: Horrified (UK) - Allure Of The Fallen

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


25121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i feel like black metal of this type would be so fucking creepy yet exciting to see live

frozencarl
March 11th 2019


637 Comments


yea for sure, its going to be quite the surreal experience. not sure who else is on the bill cuz i copped em pretty quickly since its supposed to sell out

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2019


25121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Looks like a band calllled.... deitus? i don't think i've heard of them before



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