Auðn

FARVEGIR FYRNDAR

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums - TOM O’BOYLE

SEA­SON OF MIST

ICE­LAND’S EX­PAN­SIVE BLACK MET­ALLERS BURN BRIGHT

SUBTERRANEA

WAS FI RST

in­tro­duced to Auðn at the Ice­landic leg of the 2015 Wacken Metal Bat­tle, the prize be­ing the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete with win­ners of other coun­tries at that most es­teemed of metal mec­cas. They just missed out that year, go­ing on to win it in 2016, where they later fin­ished within the top three at the fes­ti­val proper, con­sol­i­dat­ing their grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion with a de­but that gen­er­ated enough buzz to see them per­form at Ice­land’s pre­mier metal fes­ti­val, Eist­naflug, and the oft-vaunted Road­burn in 2017. Suf­fice to say, they’ve grown into them­selves over the past few years, and the bale­ful, cor­us­cat­ing black metal of Farvegir Fyrndar is their strong­est show­ing of that yet.

Hail­ing from the re­mote vil­lage of Hver­agerði on Ice­land’s south­ern coast, Auðn dif­fer from much of the coun­try’s bur­geon­ing ex­treme out­put. Where bands such as Draug­sol, Dyn­fari and Mis|pyrm­ing have forged boldly into realms caus­tic and ex­per­i­men­tal, Auðn’s rel­a­tively con­ser­va­tive ap­proach harks back to a sim­pler time – straight up sec­ond-wave wor­ship that fo­cuses on rhythm and sor­row­ful melodies, rous­ing power and in­ten­sity over es­o­teric ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. Take the age-old trick on Hal­dreipi Hu­gans of a pow­er­ing, mis­er­able riff, burn­ing at a solemn pace only for the ex­hil­a­rat­ing on­set of per­cus­sive fer­vency – a thrill that never gets old – or the tow­er­ing six min­utes of Ljósaslæður, whose del­i­cate, in­stru­men­tal be­gin­nings show no sign of the cold fury it grad­u­ally ramps up to. Pun­ish­ing vo­cal­ist Hjalti Sveins­son is re­morse­less through­out, show­ing lit­tle range, but com­ple­ment­ing the mad­den­ing leads of Eilí­far Næ­tur per­fectly, his harsh rasp of­ten sounds dis­com­fort­ing. For those who feel mod­ern black metal has too far dis­tanced it­self from its nascent be­gin­nings, Auðn serve to re­as­sure that the orig­i­nal black spark is still start­ing fires. Those for whom black metal’s evo­lu­tion con­tin­ues to de­light and sur­prise may find Farvegir Fyrndar a lit­tle lin­ear, but there’s no doubt­ing its mem­o­rable mis­an­thropy. Auðn may be rooted in the past, but they’ve brought it back to the present with burn­ing in­ten­sity.

FOR FANS OF: WINTERFYLLETH, WODENSTHRONE, DRUDKH

Auðn ex­pand their hori­zons

on al­bum num­ber two

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