Farvegir Fyrndar



by Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (213 Reviews)
November 25th, 2017 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Immersive, illustrative but overly familiar.

Despite Iceland’s sparse popularity, the country has birthed a number of brilliant metal bands. It seems to be a natural homeland to the genre: a place where the open environment, beautiful landscapes and raging weather provides ample amounts of inspiration plus a sense of freedom and clarity to musicians. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the metal bands originating from Iceland mostly focus on illustrating an atmospheric, immersive characteristic in their music- particularly with a black metal vein- as the subgenre’s bitter catharsis compliments Iceland’s open, cleansing surroundings, thus translating a tangible sonic experience illustrating, a scenery unique to Iceland.

Coupled with Season of Mist’s near-unfaltering reputation of swiftly elevating bands from the deepest depths of the underground into the mainstream/wider audiences (Sólstafir, Ne Obliviscaris, The Great Old Ones and Drudkh- to name a few) and the added advantage of hailing from a country renowned for its unique metal scene, Auðn discovered a decent following after the release of their self-titled debut in 2014. They now strive to amplify their ferocious atmosphere and enlightening minimalism with “Farvegir Fyrndar”.

Roughly translating as ‘Ancient Paths’, Auðn leads us over weathered causeways lined with an emotional tangibility that only Icelandic bands manage to truly capture. Auðn has total control of the tone across these atmospheric avenues, allowing the songs to drift from one to another effortlessly. Folksy melodies pierce through the cracks of thunderous tremolo and cavernous drums during the downcast “L*fvana Jörð” where the band’s ability to seamlessly fluctuate between slow and frenzied paces means the song’s atmosphere sways naturally, like leaves rustling in the wind; sometimes bristling gently, sometimes crackling forcefully.

Furthermore, the band displays a knack for timing. Bands such as Wolves in the Throne Room and Agalloch have mastered this technique and Auðn is also aware of when to move on to a new melody, switch the tone of their torrential tremolo riffing or not to linger too long during the pensive interludes. “Haldreipi Hugans” features such an interlude and the band, therefore, establish that the mood of the song has changed, allow it to embrace the audience then wastes no time in bringing the rhythm back to its eruptive nature. Although it’s a typical trick that countless bands utilise, these preceding slower moments do also amplify the cascading black metal that follows.

As mentioned, “Farvegir Fyrndar” is an emotive journey that guides its audience through an array of atmospheres, however, the paths that this album follow are trodden and worn by the number of other bands who have already forged, shaped and trodden the same path that this album follows. Moreover, Auðn sticks to this beaten track for the entire album, not daring to cross over uncharted territories of the genre or attempting to forge their own way which, unfortunately, makes the album sound repetitive and, at times, uninspiring. Nearly every song features the same structure which depends heavily on the overuse of tremolo riffing and Hjalti Sveinsson’s snarling vocals start to become one-dimensional by the end of “Ljósaslæður”. Each track may bleed into one another perfectly, however, the lack of variation in an album designed to display a variety of feelings makes it sound so ironically dreary.

Nevertheless, “Farvegir Fyrndar” is far from bad. Fans of Primordial will certainly find comfort in the tribal aspect of this album, those searching for music that gives them a long, cold embrace should find this album suitably immersive and Auðn expertly transports their audience the sparsity and serene setting of their motherland. However, sparsity isn’t always an attractive characteristic- as those who listen to this album will discover.

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user ratings (22)

Comments:Add a Comment 
November 25th 2017


Seems about right, good review

November 25th 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent review, I definitely get a Primordial vibe while listening to this

Digging: Helengard - Helengard

November 25th 2017


What those guys said.

Digging: White Lion - Pride

November 25th 2017


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

This is pretty gooooood.

Digging: Imha Tarikat - Kara Ihlas

December 6th 2017


Album Rating: 2.5

Not bad, I did like the instrumentation in this

Papa Universe
December 6th 2017


Album Rating: 4.0

It's actually really good, somethings wrong with y'all.

Digging: N'Zwaa - Maha Kali

June 28th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

great album!-and live they re classy

August 27th 2018


Might give this a look

Digging: Kommodus - An Imperial Sun Rises

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