Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bandcamp Picks - Sólstafir, Dynfari, Skáphe, Draugsól

One of the most memorable concert experiences of recent years was seeing Sólstafir play a late afternoon set in Maryland a few years back. With their eclectic style and oddball charisma, they seemed like a band on the cusp of bigger things. Their latest album Berdreyminn might be their breakthrough album; simultaneously looking forward and backwards, it draws on a bygone era of psychedelia and space rock as well as modern post rock/dream pop to power their uniquely trippy style of heavy rock. Add in the occasional choir and piano accompaniment, and you've got a kaleidoscopic opus of longing and nostalgia. [$11.99]

Fellow Icelanders Dynfari have their own psychedelic proclivities. Ostensibly grown in a mushroom field, The Mind of The Four Doors strays brazenly from its atmospheric black metal roots into more experimental territories, with Timothy Leary-esque dissertations on the nature of reality and acoustic folk excursions. This is what happens when black metal goes to college and gets existential. [€7]

Skáphe is a project created by Alex Poole of US black metal pillars Krieg (among others) with Dagur Gonzales of Icelandic black metal standouts Naðra and Misþyrming (among others). Their latest release is single 22 minute composition, a nightmare world of dissonant notes, reverberating howls and sudden time changes. A journey to the center of an unwell mind. The track is available as a "name your price download".

Not everything is avant garde and experimental up in Iceland - newcomers Draugsól stick to a more traditional template. Volaða Land grafts black metal malevolence to death metal savagery, resulting in a speedy little rough-hewn debut that never gets monotonous. Quite possibly the first ripples of an emerging behemoth. [€7]