Katla. - Móðurástin review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
9.0

52 users:
8.02
Band: Katla.
Album: Móðurástin
Release date: October 2017


Disc I
01. Aska
02. Hyldýpi
03. Nátthagi
04. Hvíla
05. Hreggur
06. Móðurástin
07. Kul
08. Dulsmál

Disc II [Luxus bonus]
01. Aska [Analog Ashes Remix by NightStalker]
02. Hyldýpi [Epic Abyss Remix by Carsten Altena]
03. Nátthagi [Andvökunætur Remix by Legend]
04. Hvíla [Final Rest Remix by Germ]
05. Hreggur [Drowning Remix by Heljarmadr]
06. Móðurástin [Mother's Milk Remix by Eddie Risdal]
07. Kul [Nóttin er svo löng Remix by Tor R. Stavenes]
08. Dulsmál [Nighttime Remix by Ben Pakarinen]


If you want to read this just to see if this is better than the new Sólstafir, you're in luck! It is.

With a band named after one of the greatest active volcanoes and an album named after one of the strongest feelings in the world (Móðurástin apparently means "mother's love"), one must expect a wild ride, no? The language barrier didn't stop us with Sólstafir or Kontinuum, and it won't stop us now.

A lot of the songs, at least on the first half of the album aren't that much a far shot from what Gummi was already doing in Sólstafir (this is the last time I mention them, don't worry), although more on the succinct kind, but I'd have to admit that at least as much as catchiness is involved, Katla. had that figured out. Great songwriting, and layering, and choruses that made me wish I knew Icelandic, all that. However, Móðurástin is an album that starts revealing itself slowly especially since the longer songs only come in the second half, and there is black metal involved. The album might take some time to pick up some pace (I especially think the placement of "Hyldýpi" was a bit faulty, it being the album's opener after the intro), but the full listen is definitely rewarding.

Móðurástin manages to strike a balance of both the catchy and the interesting. As far as the latter is concerned, the soundscapes on this album are amazing on most tracks, but best heard on the album's closing track. Besides the obvious the band makes very good use of synths, strings, backing vocals, and plunderphonics. Sure, the post-rock tag is not exactly fitting, but the music world has yet to come up with a proper term for this regional sound that Iceland has been developing for about ten years. Certain post-rock elements are certainly to be found throughout, more obviously on "Dulsmál". As far as the former is concerned, one listen to "Nátthagi" should leave you with an earworm.

This isn't the first time these two musicians here have worked together. In fact, the first time they worked together was almost 20 years ago, way back on Potentiam's Bálsýn. And while that wasn't the one and only time, both have had varying amount of success with other bands, and it is just amazing to see how far they've come musically over the years. Einar's melodramatic baritone is probably his best vocal performance I've heard (see/hear "Kul"), topping even his black metal-eque shrieks on certain songs. Gummi's drumming is also noticeably good, whether the blasts on the title track or the pounding drums on "Nátthagi"'s or "Dulsmál"'s beginnings.

Before you accuse me of being a paid shill, the album is not without flaws. One thing I found strange is that the production on the debut EP, Ferðalok, was somehow better than it is here. This does have the downside of limiting the potential that the sounds on this album could've had to seamlessly blend together, thus holding the album back a little.

To conclude, it may be a bit (ok, a lot more than that) cliché to call an album a journey, but with an album that is slowly picking up pace and not revealing itself all at once so that just when you thought you had it all figured out, it finds ways to turn and reveal a new face, I guess I just can't find a better comparison. Ok, whatever, I'll call it a person or something.

Take a peek.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 7


 



Written on 29.12.2017 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 265 users
29.12.2017 - 20:51
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Congrats on your front page debut, you've been growing into quite the formidable apprentice these past few months and I hope you just continue to fly from here
A bit lengthy, but pretty well written. I'd personally score this a little lower, like 7 - 7.5 material, but it's certainly not bad by any means. It's also interesting that you note that this particular post rock type sound has been coming out of Iceland a lot lately, that does indeed seem to be the case. Any other such bands you'd suggest outside of Solstafir and Katla?
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This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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29.12.2017 - 21:26
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 29.12.2017 at 20:51

Congrats on your front page debut, you've been growing into quite the formidable apprentice these past few months and I hope you just continue to fly from here
A bit lengthy, but pretty well written. I'd personally score this a little lower, like 7 - 7.5 material, but it's certainly not bad by any means. It's also interesting that you note that this particular post rock type sound has been coming out of Iceland a lot lately, that does indeed seem to be the case. Any other such bands you'd suggest outside of Solstafir and Katla?


Potentiam was the first band that Gummi and Einar collaborated on. Their debut is pretty straightforward but kinda interesting black metal and their further releases started cementing this sound. The other members besides Einar are now in Kontinuum which is quite close to Solsafir.
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Is it future of is it past?
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29.12.2017 - 21:34
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by RaduP on 29.12.2017 at 21:26

Potentiam was the first band that Gummi and Einar collaborated on. Their debut is pretty straightforward but kinda interesting black metal and their further releases started cementing this sound. The other members besides Einar are now in Kontinuum which is quite close to Solsafir.

Word word, will scope each a little more when I get a minute. Thanks, my man.
----
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
Loading...
29.12.2017 - 22:06
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 29.12.2017 at 21:34

Written by RaduP on 29.12.2017 at 21:26

Potentiam was the first band that Gummi and Einar collaborated on. Their debut is pretty straightforward but kinda interesting black metal and their further releases started cementing this sound. The other members besides Einar are now in Kontinuum which is quite close to Solsafir.

Word word, will scope each a little more when I get a minute. Thanks, my man.

And obviously for Icelandic post-rock, Sigur Ros
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Is it future of is it past?
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29.12.2017 - 23:48
Dinruth
Bought this album, because I liked the track Dulsmal so much... really great song ... the rest of the album fails to get to that level for me though..
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30.12.2017 - 01:26
nikarg
Old Nick
Very nice review Radu, although a tad long, I enjoyed reading it. I agree with Che (how the fuck did that happen? lol), it's a good album around 7.0-7.5 for me (probably because I'm not so much into this style). "Nátthagi" is one of the catchiest songs I heard in 2017.

p.s. Sigur Ros are great.
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on and on south of heaven

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30.12.2017 - 14:45
VIG
Esoteric Zachism
Awesome pic of Dale Cooper next to your name at the end, a similar one used to be my profile pic.

[on-topic]
I don't know anything about this band, but nice review. Post-rock hasn't been my thing for a while.
[/on-topic]
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30.12.2017 - 19:25
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 30.12.2017 at 01:26

Very nice review Radu, although a tad long, I enjoyed reading it. I agree with Che (how the fuck did that happen? lol), it's a good album around 7.0-7.5 for me (probably because I'm not so much into this style). "Nátthagi" is one of the catchiest songs I heard in 2017.

p.s. Sigur Ros are great.


When I started writing it for some reason I had in mind that it has to be 500-750 words, not 250-500, and I was for some time not even sure if I could get to 500 and then suddenly I was at 600.

I can understand why you would rate it below me, but read my bio-box for more info.
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Is it future of is it past?
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30.12.2017 - 19:26
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by VIG on 30.12.2017 at 14:45

Awesome pic of Dale Cooper next to your name at the end, a similar one used to be my profile pic.

[on-topic]
I don't know anything about this band, but nice review. Post-rock hasn't been my thing for a while.
[/on-topic]

Well listen to it. Damn good post-rock album.
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Is it future of is it past?
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