Árstíðir Lífsins – Heljarkviða

A new release for one of the most interesting bands that emerged in the current decade in the black metal field, even if, as often happens, confining certain bands to a single genre seems reductive. We have already commented Árstíðir Lífsins in the past years on the occasion of the previous ep (Þættir úr Sǫgu Norðrs) and the split with Helrunar (Fragments – A Mythological Excavation): today they are back, after the third full length Aldafǫðr Ok Munka Dróttinn, with this other ep rather large, being composed of two long tracks of twenty minutes each. The stylistic coordinates are always those of a music that ranges from folk, ambient, chamber music, made threatening by the excellent black outbursts led by the voice of the excellent Marsél (Marcel Dreckmann, also well known for his work with Helrunar and Wöljager). The soul of Árstíðir Lífsins is constituted by Árni, who characterizes the sound with his usual mastery in the use of string instruments, while the trio is completed by another German, the guitarist and bassist Stefan (Kerbenok). Árstíðir Lífsins has by now become, beyond its real meaning in Icelandic (the seasons of life), a synonym of quality and Heljarkviða is certainly no exception; then, personally, I consider all the projects that see Dreckmann involved as something not to be missed, capable of elevating music to a sublime art form. Of course, the configurations are different in style and intentions, but the care that is also put into the writing of the lyrics makes all these works even more special: the lyrical concept contained here should not be overlooked, since it is an effective reinterpretation of the typical themes of Norse mythology, which find an ideal soundtrack in the deep and solemn scores of Árstíðir Lífsins. From three musicians of such a level it is legitimate to expect the best, and so far these expectations have never been disappointed: the careful listening of Heljarkviða is another essential step to take for those who want to deepen their knowledge with music that goes beyond the definitions of genre.

2016 – Ván Records