Rating:
9.5
Sólstafir - Masterpiece Of Bitterness
2005


01. I Myself The Visionary Head
02. Nature Strutter
03. Bloodsoaked Velvet
04. Ljósfari
05. Ghosts Of Light
06. Ritual Of Fire
07. Náttfari


A masterpiece indeed

If my memory is right, I remember that Sólstafir was a Black Metal combo from Iceland, but as I hear this album I'm pretty sure we can't call this Black Metal. That's good because the grim, nekro, kvlt market is so saturated nowadays that when I receive any release I just pray to find something new and original within the disc.

Lately, I think someone has been listening to me up there because now my prayers were answered! I got a amazing Cd with remarkable music that definitively deserves a listen.
Sólstafir can't be considered a Black Metal combo anymore, their music lies within a wide range of styles, including of course, Black Metal, Post-Rock, Hardcore/Punk and Psychodelia. The result is a melting pot so powerful that you won't be able stop drinking from the crucible.

The album starts with self-confidence, a 20 minute track is not your common opener. Here and throughout the album drums guide the music and, needless to say, drumming is quite competent in here; tempo changes and non-traditional drum patterns are backed up by powerful distorted guitars, creating the "wall of sound" effect on the back.
Singing is another powerful asset of the band, the vocals can be a shriek-like scream or a deep potent voice that reminded me of Irish metallers Primordial.

The damn great thing about Sólstafir is that the music is non linear, you have a great deal of aggressive sections, but you have a lot of calm, atmospheric sections in each song (bearing in mind that songs are quite lengthy).

This Icelandic combo has created a album which resembles nothing I've heard before: the perfect mix of non-Metal elements with metal ones makes it a necessary album for any Metalhead looking for something that breaks the mold of pre-established genres. Sólstafir took the chance to do something different, and they greatly succeeded in doing it so. My hat is off.


Band profile: Sólstafir
Album: Masterpiece Of Bitterness


 


written by Undercraft | 16.05.2006



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Ace - 17.05.2006 at 16:03  
Awesome band, though for the moment, I definitly prefer the first album, "blodi og andà"(spelling?)
Immortalist - 17.05.2006 at 16:32  
I saw them live and liked them so I bought the album, I quite like it... yet they are most definitely not a live band
arnór - 17.05.2006 at 20:31  
Written by Guest on 17.05.2006 at 16:03

Awesome band, though for the moment, I definitly prefer the first album, "blodi og andà"(spelling?)


It is, 'I blodi og anda', which basicly means, In spirit & blood (althought they chose not to use icelandic chars in that title, ought to be 'Í blóði og anda').

But yes, this album is good.
Aebsi - 08.02.2007 at 17:21  
Well their first debut album is actually "Til Valhallar" (translates to Valhalla) but it was only for Icelandic market (if i remember correctly) and was later re-released in few selected countries, "I Blodi og Anda" and "Masterpiece of Bitterness" are my personal favorites at the moment
pdepmcp - 06.08.2008 at 10:02  
great record.
a true masterpiece, indeed.
and mostly a very long time standing. it's still high in my playing charts after almost 3 years...
Pétur - 06.08.2008 at 21:57  
what ever this is, it is crap. I tried listing it many times but those horrible vocals don't do it for me. And I was hoping so badly for some good Icelandic Metal=(

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