KATLA

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums -

Móðurástin

PROPHECY PRO­DUC­TIONS For­mer Sól­stafir sticks­man re­turns with a com­pen­dium of delectable dread

Ice­landic duo Katla fea­tures ex-Sól­stafir drum­mer and artist Guð­mundur Óli Pál­ma­son and singer/multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist Ei­nar Thor­berg Guð­munds­son, and the sound­scapes these two mere mor­tals cre­ate are as ma­jes­ti­cally fore­bod­ing as the vol­cano they’re named af­ter. For any­one fa­mil­iar with Sól­stafir, Móðurástin oc­cu­pies sim­i­larly ex­per­i­men­tal en­vi­rons, its first few tracks – the chill­ing synths and fore­bod­ing vo­cals of Hyldýpi that flour­ish into chasm-rat­tling cho­ruses, or the slow-burn tragedy of Hvíla – el­e­vated by a shared in­de­fin­able Ice­landic quin­tes­sence. Just when you think you have the record fig­ured out, things take a nasty turn with Hreg­gur, sat­is­fy­ing the Ice­landic pen­chant for breath­tak­ing black metal, ac­com­pa­nied by a melo­dra­matic baroque vo­cal. It’s be­come cus­tom­ary to ex­pect the un­ex­pected when it comes to the artis­tic out­put of the land of ice and fire; Katla offer yet more proof that vol­canic rock tops all other for­ma­tions. FOR FANS OF: KONTINUUM, ULVER, HEXVESSEL

TOM O’BOYLE

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