Genre: Rock, Hard Rock
Label: Season Of Mist
The ‘anti-Christian Icelandic heathen bastards’ released a new album entitled, Berdreyminn and I think that the only question on the minds of their fans is one… is it better than Otta? The truth is that ‘Otta’ was a masterpiece, it was a journey through the Icelandic scenery, cold, dark and haunting, but yet so serene almost cathartic. There are hundreds of post-rock bands out there spreading like a disease but none really quite touched the real meaning post like Sólstafir.
But let’s return to the question in hand. No, Berdreyminn is not a better record than Otta but let me clear some things regarding this statement. These two records are two different records to begin with, different in every way, yes the folk atmosphere is there so is the ambient one, but Berdreyminn is a more classic rock/hard rock album than a post-rock, and that is a huge difference. There is a different approach. The band seems to want to broaden their fans and challenge their musical boundaries and that is not a bad thing after all. Let’s not forget that the band has evolved a great deal since the days they produced Viking black metal and this is another step in their evolution.
Sharing my thoughts about the album in a conversation someone told me that whatever these guys do, only one things stays with you in the end… Iceland. Even if you haven’t travelled at that part of the world, you can taste and smell everything through their music. You can touch the pale grass and feel the grim breeze, watch the Northern Lights dance. It’s otherworldly.
I believe their music became more introvert, especially after the band’s public dispute with the drummer in 2015. Music after all is part of someone’s everyday life experiences. Self-destruction, hate towards friends and loved ones, pain, all is there from the first minute of the intro song ‘Silfur-Refur’ till the last track of the record ‘Bláfjall’. Berdreyminn is personal and dark, talking about personal nightmares. It’s Sólstafir’s most personal album till now. Aðalbjörn Tryggvason vocal performance is as always excellent and strange, haunting, this is what makes it special and the Icelandic language, the band uses. The guitars are melodic and strong, well-built and many times become dirty. I’m not sure whether a song really stands out and yes, there are a few great songs in the album. I could give two different votes for this album… the metal persona in me gives a 3/6 and the more open minded persona 4,5/6.