Solstafir Tap Into The Atmosphere With Berdreyminn
26th May 2017, 10:30
Posted by Tristan
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Somewhat late to the party on this one, Solstafir have been a band I, foolishly, haven’t been acquainted with. Missing their previous record, the critically acclaimed Otta, I was somewhat behind with the times. Not knowing truly what I was in for I was greeted with the throaty sounds, nuanced melodies put together meticulously to form an atmosphere. Similar to the first taking in of breath in the stillness of the morning, the record is a beautiful exercise in fragility.

Tracklist:

  1. Silfur – Refur
  2. Isafold
  3. Hula
  4. Naros
  5. Hvit Saeng
  6. Dyrafjordur
  7. Ambatt
  8. Blafjall


Length: 57:00
Label: Season of Mist
Release date: May 26th

Creating an alpenglow of sound, there are hints of the classic Icelandic calling card of Sigur Ros underneath the surface of Berdreyminn. I use this merely as a reference not a likening as the band might weave in between genres but remain true to their sound. Solstafir are very much their own entity entirely, now on album six, it would seem that the band have begun to understand what is unique about their make up. Think of a slow growth than a quick fix, Berdreyminn is bountiful in its discoveries. For instance “Hula” on the surface seems a simplistic track yet as the song ebbs and flows, the addition of female chorale before drifting off with a beautiful feather like pianissimo tone it reveals itself as a sprawling musical landscape.

Changing throughout the album the solemn “Blafjall” opening with funerary style organ before slide style guitar is introduced against the vocals of Aðalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason. Keeping to the sombre tone the album fluctuates, anchored by a sense of the lachrymose where the scene is first set with “Silfur – Refur”. Almost sounding like a Post Rock rendition of the classic Western sound of high noon before the signature sound is brought forward. As much as the record might be in the vein of Post Rock the melting pot doesn’t end there. Subtle, almost Prog like nuances bring “Hvit Saeng” accompanying the slow build of guitars is the solemn statement of piano.

Normally finding it hard to get my head around a band whose native language isn’t English, instead Solstafir’s Icelandic merely enhances this cinematic sense of rustic genius. With the shortest song on the record being five minutes long, the amount of layers that are exhibited on the record a plentiful. Moving towards the albums end the ethereal keys of “Ambatt” follows a simplistic drum patterns with an ever growing vocal melody which blossoms into Post Rock minimalism echoing the album artwork’s expansive wilderness. Able to be used in different mediums, there are moments where Berdreyminn shines as its own piece, whilst also having the potential as a fantastic bed a soundtrack. Improving on the foundations laid on the absolutely brilliant Otta, Solstafir have retained their pained sense of understanding yet have moulded it in a beautiful fashion that would suit any kind of setting, all the while being accessible for the reach of a new audience.


Creating a suitable successor to their critically acclaimed Otta was never going to be easy but with Berdreyminn, Solstafir achieved that and more. A reminder that though the summer might be here, its always cold somewhere.

Solstafir’s brand new album is out now via Season of Mist.