Dynfari‘Vegferð Tímans’ (‘Journey of Time’ in English) is the third full length album from this Icelandic atmospheric black metal duo, and a mighty release it is too. Yes folks, its atmospheric black metal time. Time to turn off the central heating; allow the fog to roll in through your windows. Invite the flora and fauna into your abode and to light a fire where your TV once stood. Become one with nature by staring wistfully into the flames for the album’s runtime, because it’s a prerequisite for maximum enjoyment of Dynfari. Failing that, just stick some headphones in and enjoy getting whisked away by the musical beauty which befalls your ears upon hitting ‘play’.

Dynfari create such vast soundscapes, it’s hard not to imagine all the above things happening. This is far from evil and frostbitten in terms of black metal, but it has a definite chill to it. It’s as dreamy as a pale winter sky after a terrible storm, as desolate as the most weather-beaten barren landscapes of Scandinavia, as refreshing as an untouched cold lake to an unquenched thirst and is absolutely dripping with melancholy throughout the albums runtime. It’s hard to pick apart the tracks as individual pieces, because the album as a whole demands to be heard as a whole – and when it is, it pays off with the most fulfilling rewards. I’d love their fellow countrymen Sólstafir to return to sounds such as this, as they used to boss this style so well too. Whether it be the pensive acoustic guitars and the soft female vocals of ‘Vegferd II – Ad Astra’, or the eerie storm of ‘Hafsjor’, which creeps and dwells in the shadows, or the brilliant and brooding ‘Óreiða’ – it all combines into one magnificent opus of atmospheric purity which is screaming to be played and played again.

Fans of Austere, Nyktalgia, Alcest or Drudkh will most certainly get a kick out of Dynfari’s schtick, and understandably so considering they stand tall amongst their peers through the sheer atmospheric accomplishment they achieve with ‘Vegferð Tímans’. The mind’s eye will be sent into paroxysms, with landscapes, natural beauty, space, time and everything in between being plucked from your imagination and nestled amongst the musical accompaniment they provide. Top, top stuff. Time for me to investigate their back catalogue!

(8.5/10 Lars Christiansen)