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Superb, Sublime and Stylish. - 92%

Perplexed_Sjel, June 14th, 2006

Solstafir, a four piece group hailing from the cold and bleak shores of Reykjavik in Iceland. "Masterpiece of Bitterness" is the second full-length album and consists of seven tracks ranging from an epic 19 minutes to a short lived 3 minutes. This album runs in total for 1 hour, 10 minutes and 18 seconds, so you certainly get your moneys worth in terms of the length of the record.

Metal Archives states that this band is a Progressive Black Metal group. I do not agree with that statement. Solstafir blend elements of many different types of music, that does include Black Metal, but it also includes Punk/Hardcore, Psychedelic Rock and various other elements offering a unique and truly beautiful sound. Despite that, there is a great deal of aggression attached to this record. Especially in the despairing and quite often desolate screams of the vocalist, whose vocals are simply unique and like nothing i've heard before. As you'd expect with any music that contains Black Metal elements, this record contains sections of calm, tranquil and atmospheric music which creates the perfect backdrop to the screams of Aðalbjörn Tryggvason, Solstafir's leading man. The album opens up with the near 20 minute epic that is "I Myself The Visionary Head". Throughout the album the listener is presented with a competent and consistent array of powerful and emotive drum patterns, backed up by distorted guitars and the best asset of all, the shrieking screams of the vocalist, which i touched upon before.

This album creates a truly unique journey with a perfect combination of non-Metal and Metal elements, that should suit and fulfil the needs of all Metal fans. I would certainly recommend this to anyone looking for something unique and something that breaks the mold of traditional genres. A simply astounding piece of musicianship.