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Of Fire and Chaos - 100%

TheSlayFer, May 14th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2015, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

Misþyrming are the most recent and acclaimed band to come out of the impressive metal scene of Iceland and for good reason which is their 2015 opus; “Söngvar elds og óreiðu”.

This album is considered a modern masterpiece and I for one very much agree with that sentiment. Founder and multi-instrumentalist D.G. with this album has created one of the most dynamic, bold and forward thinking album in black metal and the results speak for themselves; the album starts at eleven with 3 relentless tracks which display the full extent of D.G.’s talent and vision, these tracks are both a tribute to the Black metal of old while also containing bold experimentation in the melodic and ambient department. All the instruments except for the drums are handled by D.G. and he makes full use of his skills, flexing his musical chops to the fullest extent. The drumming by H.R.H. is also excellent and worth noting, he displays the mandatory fast and aggressive blast beats while also switching his drum patterns for the slower and more morose sections of the album, keeping the beat and maintaining the pace.

This careful balance between raw aggression and experimentation is what best describes this album as a whole, it seamlessly switches from chaotic riffing and tremolo picking to complex and layered melodic dirges. The opening track “Söngur heiftar” is easily one of the best tracks and displays that balance I mentioned earlier. D.G.’s guitar playing is the standout here alongside his howling vocals which take the album into a whole different level, the guitar playing itself is more than just the tremolo picking fest most expect from black metal and it shows, songs like “Söngur uppljómunar” take a very folk like direction and plays a lot with distorted melodies. Another very interesting aspect about this album are the two dark ambient tracks that in D.G.’s own words serve as an interlude and epilogue which bind the album together, these tracks enrich the already excellent album with each serving as a break from the chaos and madness created by the music and unlike some other uses of interludes they are full and complete tracks that can be heard on their own.

Despite having a full band for live performances, this is D.G.’s project and creative vision through and through and as a whole this album is proof of that laser focus vision fully made manifest. Misþyrming is a force to be reckoned with and show the most promise out of all the Icelandic scene.

Best tracks: Söngur heiftar, Friðþæging blýþungra hjartna, Ég byggði dyr í eyðimörkinni.