Sinmara - Hvísl Stjarnanna review



Reviewer:
N/A

51 users:
7.96
Band: Sinmara
Album: Hvísl Stjarnanna
Release date: March 2019


01. Apparitions
02. Mephitic Haze
03. The Arteries Of Withered Earth
04. Crimson Stars
05. Úr Kaleik Martraða
06. Hvísl Stjarnanna


It seems to be a tradition in Icelandic black metal that one must take a long time to craft an album.

Icelandic black metal is in an interesting position right now. A fair amount of time has passed since its big breakthrough around 2012-2015, when most of the bands who've established their name released their debut albums and put Iceland on the map. Now, we're at a point where the world is watching and most of these bands are finally releasing their second album. Two years ago it was Auðn, then last year it was Carpe Noctem and Svartidauði. Now comes Sinmara. And hopefully we won't have to wait as long for Misþyrming and Wormlust. But most of these have had unusually long periods of time in between their debut and the follow-up, and Sinmara's five-year gap between albums is really not out of place in the scene.

But finally, it is here. Hvísl Stjarnanna is the logical continuation of everything the Icelandic black metal scene has done until now, moving further from being quality Deathspell Omega worship bands and more towards having a distinct identity. If Sinmara's previous EP, Within The Weaves Of Infinity, hinted at anything, it was that Hvísl Stjarnanna would be more melodic than its predecessor. Now worry not, the change isn't that stark and nor is Hvísl Stjarnanna a melodic black album. There's dissonance and atmospheric nausea galore, but often channeled in a more melodic way, if that makes sense. There are more riffs and moments that feel less abrasive atmosphere-focused and more songwriting-focused.

The album finds balance as to not lean too far into melody-driven black metal, as it is still very airy and ethereal in sound, mostly due to the great production that it has, where everything feels like it's in its place and forms a cohesive slob of sound where the sum is larger than its parts. So there's a very useful balance that doesn't sacrifice neither the evocative atmosphere nor the pummeling memorability. There are no original tricks at play here, just a band whose mastery of an established sound allows them to craft such an engaging album.

Most of all, Hvísl Stjarnanna feels both ethereal and triumphant, less evil than one would expect a dissonant black metal record to be. Just like Carpe Noctem and Svartidauði before them, they've loosened the original mold that they were made of and managed to create captivating and effective music. See for yourself.


 



Written on 25.03.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 102 users
25.03.2019 - 10:45
nikarg
Old Nick
Svartidauði did what you say much better than Sinmara imo.
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25.03.2019 - 11:00
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 25.03.2019 at 10:45

Svartidauði did what you say much better than Sinmara imo.

SD went much more in the melodic direction. I really enjoyed both of them, though I can't really choose a fav out of the two. But Carpe Noctem beats both.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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25.03.2019 - 11:20
roeder
Written by nikarg on 25.03.2019 at 10:45

Svartidauði did what you say much better than Sinmara imo.

So what you are saying is Thorir Gardarsson outdid Thorir Gardarsson this time?
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25.03.2019 - 11:29
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by roeder on 25.03.2019 at 11:20

Written by nikarg on 25.03.2019 at 10:45

Svartidauði did what you say much better than Sinmara imo.

So what you are saying is Thorir Gardarsson outdid Thorir Gardarsson this time?

I guess so
I don't know, I enjoyed last year's SD album a lot, while after 3-4 listens I cannot get into the new Sinmara (and I don't particularly think much of the debut either). SD went way too melodic for some, but I liked that change myself. I guess it has to do with the fact that I am not a DSO fan at all.
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25.03.2019 - 11:45
roeder
Quote:
Quote:

I guess so
I don't know, I enjoyed last year's SD album a lot, while after 3-4 listens I cannot get into the new Sinmara (and I don't particularly think much of the debut either). SD went way too melodic for some, but I liked that change myself. I guess it has to do with the fact that I am not a DSO fan at all.

Revelations of the Red Sword was a real grower for me. At first I didn't like it that much, guess I was expecting a Flesh Cathedral part 2.
After 4-5 listens it really started to click though. Actually I think in terms of sound and songwriting the new Svartidaudi is much more similar to Within the Weaves of Infinity than to anything they released before. The melodic shift in the music of Svartidaudi I believe is the result of Nökkvi leaving the band, and Thorir becoming the main songwriter.
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26.03.2019 - 03:20
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by RaduP on 25.03.2019 at 11:00

Written by nikarg on 25.03.2019 at 10:45

Svartidauði did what you say much better than Sinmara imo.

But Carpe Noctem beats both.

Most definitely, it's been my favorite of all the sophomore efforts that've been dropping lately from the Icelandic BMers, though I still do have to give this Sinmara one a whirl. Almyrkvi's second one was pretty up there too actually, now that I recall.

Methinks the new Wormlust will blow everything out of the water yet again though when it finally hits, buuuuuuut... that's just me
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Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
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20.04.2019 - 03:56
Harmaajoki
I feel like Icelandic black never being real "evil", or at least never gave me the feeling they tried.
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Shit talking and shit taste, whatever.
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