This Icelandic outfit has been making substantial waves in the black metal scene since their immense debut “Söngvar Elds Og Óreiðu” released in 2015. I even caught a brief section of their set at the Inferno Festival in Norway in 2015 on the club night, where the whole band was shrouded in smoke with back lighting casting long silhouettes over the packed crowd. The unholy cacophony that emanated was nothing short of Armageddon even for the brief moments I saw them. With a split in 2017 with fellow countrymen Sinmara plugging the four year gap since that eponymous debut, the band finally unleashes their sophomore and is possibly one of the most anticipated black metal releases of the year and the band does not disappoint one iota.

The trademark melodic structuring is intact as the song writing has matured producing an album of alchemizing terror, where the wrathful insurgency is tempered by sweeping melodicism that was inherent to the debut, only this time that melodic stature has been amplified and enhanced without loss of power or impetus. The moment the opener “Orgia” starts with a momentary screech and subsequent explosion of blackened malfeasance you know instantly you are about to undergo a colossal obsidian experience. As the songs blasting momentum channels the ferocity, the riffing smoothly and brilliantly switches into a double bass charge. “Með Svipur Á Lofti” continues the fury as a sublime guitar hook is peppered onto the song that will have your spine tingling. Emotive riffing is paramount to this release, it wholly augments the aura casting you into caverns of purist black malignancy. Slowing matters down a tad is “Ísland, Steingelda Krummaskuð” where an isolated and bleak guitar hook dances atop with beautifying melodic prowess.

An eerie interlude ensues before returning with “Og Er Haustið Líður Undir Lok”, another slower song with a catchy riff and upbeat tempo, as the double kick swathes the song when it enters the fold. As I have already suggested this album is saturated in emotion, as a molten melancholy pours from the song drenching the listener in bleakness and sorrowful harshness. “Alsæla” propels the album back to blasting animosity, ingrained with that catchiness this band seems to do so effortlessly and uniquely as the songs hateful intent is palpable before the whole song is routed into a momentary poignant phase. The abrupt surges in speed are terrifyingly effective as an awesome riff follows that will sit in your head for days.

Closing this obliterating release is the title track, again a mournful riff and hook infects the song; with heart wrenching aura the song is empowering, guiding you down shadowy avenues of menacing violence. As that mournful hook continues throughout the song the vocals terrorize on another level right before the whole composition is reined in for more sonic solemnity half way in. The resurgent double bass bolsters the song immensely as whilst not blasted there is a savagery, a primeval nihilism that manifests throughout this song and the album as a whole. If this Icelandic band is new to you then I urge you to investigate immediately and if you’re a vinyl junkie then buy it now, just like I did, as it will sell out quickly and become a collector’s item for certain.

(9.5/10 Martin Harris)