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Arstidir Lifsins - Jötunheima Dolgferd

Arstidir Lifsins
Jötunheima Dolgferd
by Manolis Alfieris at 04 October 2010, 8:10 PM


Ok, it took me something less than 25 minutes to write down the song titles but that’s not the point anyhow. Honestly, I’ve been listening to this record the last week, over 5 times per day. Why’s that? Well, I don’t have any words to describe this magnum opus!!! I mean it. It left me completely speechless after the first listening. I was constantly thinking how to start this review but every time I was throwing scrap paper to the floor and the litter bin. “F**k that, I’ll start from scratch again!” etc. So, what do we have here? ARSTIDIR LIFSINS (“The Seasons Of Life” in English) and their debut album “Jötunheima Dolgferd” that stands for “The Knight’s Path Of Jotunheim”. Once more the band has managed through its name, album title and –of course- music to totally depict their inner thoughts and feelings about how their music should sound. And, for a first try, it’s a total success! God, if any, I’ll try to transfer through the following words what I’ve been listening to so intensely even though you have to listen to it in order to believe it. And I am not exaggerating.

First of all, the band mainly hails from Iceland. That alone is something new to me as the only band I know from there is the great SOLSTAFIR, which I had the chance to see them live at this year’s edition of 'Summer Breeze Festival' in Germany. Let’s assume that you have never heard (Metal) music from that country ever before? What is the first thing that may come to your mind when you hear the words “Iceland” and “Metal”? What did you say? “Blackened Metal with melancholic melodies and atmospheres here and there!” Well. You guessed right more or less because that could be the description of ARSTIDIR LIFSINS’s music. But still that is not enough to describe the majestic levels of their music. Am I being “too much”? Well, I know that but still you have to listen on their record so you can understand why I am being so enthusiastic.

If you are fans of Black Metal with epic/pagan influences and atmosphere, with some heathen spots here and there and some folk Metal parts, definitely hit on this album! Do you like BURZUM’s comeback album and their (its) less Black Metal, more ambient, albums? If you are aware of what I mentioned before and you think that you MAY like this album, hesitate not and go and buy it as soon as it comes out. ARSTIDIR LIFSINS“Jötunheima Dolgferd” is what you read in the previous sentence. The best thing is that they combine all of these influences without being over-the-limit. Naturally here I would write down some bands that may have influenced them but this would take another whole paragraph as they have managed to take clues from many bands of the certain genres and compose their debut album. According to their official website they created this band in 2008 in order to approach medieval Icelandic literature in a musically and literally sophisticated way. Honestly, the beauty of their music combined with the lyrics (that do come in their native language), fully depicts what the band’s intention was when they were formed. Moreover people say “never judge a book by its cover!” In this case you are wrong people! Judging by the name of the band and the cover art you may easily guess what the band’s playing. And that is a success! Cover art after all used to be the reason for people to purchase records when the Internet (MySpace, YouTube) was not popular.

In conclusion I would like to say that I do feel lucky when bands like this come in my way. Folk Metal bands may be a trend nowadays but there are some exceptions out there who do know and, above all, feel that music and what it expresses. I may say “why this band is not so popular (yet!) as it kicks a**?” but on the other hand it may be better to stay that way so that the mainstream “area” will not ruin their music. ARSTIDIR LIFSINS know what they do, know their influences and their music is something unique. And I sure will wear their hoodie as soon as it comes out with the LP version of the album. To me, albums like these should get a straight 10 but as this is their first album and the future is on their feet, the grade is…

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Ísa Brots Blómin Milli Hnignunar Marnars Barna
  2. Morgunn I Grárri Vindhjálmars Poku Við Berufjörd
  3. Velkomin I Lífið, Avarpar Maðr Sjálfan Sig
  4. Haka Kleifir Berja Ok Brjóta Við Enda Langrar Ferðar Sinnar
  5. Lifðu Með Oðrum, Með Pínum Eigin
  6. Eigi Hefr A Augu, Unnskíðs Komit Síðan
  7. Margt Breytist Fyrir Orð Völvanna
  8. Við Fundum Nýtt Heimili, Langt Burtu I Vestrinu
  9. Pat Er Stormr Ok Bláköld Vatnssmíðin Litar Regna Borg
Lineup:
Stefán - Guitars, Bass, Piano, Vibraphone, Vocals, Choirs
Árni - Drums, Violin, Choirs
Georg - Vocals, Choirs
Marsél - Vocals, Choirs
Sveinn - Keyboards, Effects
Lóretta - Female Vocals
Kristófr - Bodhrán
Kristján - Choirs
Colin - Choirs
Þórarinn - Choirs
Record Label: Van Records
     


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Edited 24 October 2021
 

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