Árstíðir, Myrkur and Solstafir in Bucharest



Árstíðir, Myrkur and Solstafir in Bucharest

Yesterday I was at an awesome concert in Bucharest, a successful combination of bands: Árstíðir, Myrkur and Solstafir.

The evening begun with Árstíðir, a band from Iceland, which approach an indie-folk style and has in its composition three members which complement each other in an extraordinay way, creating a harmonious and calm music, and gives you a state of tranquility. I discovered Árstíðir some time ago through KEXP and they caught my attention right away. Each member of the band takes part in everything that means song, all of them singing in voice and instrument: the baritone guitar handled by Gunnar Jakobsson gave the melodies a deep feeling, complemented by the guitar of Daniel Auðunsson, and by Ragnar Ólafsson who seem to me that he always makes wonders at the piano. Árstíðir managed to create an intimate atmosphere, a mix of emotions, and their voices fit so well that you are effectively led to an inner world with intense feelings. We had the opportunity to listen to two new songs from the new album, that will be released in near future (with Hallgrímur Jón “Grimsi” Hallgrímsson from Solstafir at drums), an album that sounds very promising, and that is somewhat stronger. So the evening began perfectly, with a band that created a magical atmosphere, a successful combination between a dark environment and a poetic calm.

Next we saw Myrkur, a very good black metal project initiated by the Danish singer Amalie Bruun, in which you can’t find only black metal elements, but also folk and choral elements, traditional Scandinavian instruments. The project is unique, and the songs leads you to the mystical realm of the North. Myrkur sang from the last album, Mareridt, and from M, both albums creating a vibrant air to the metal scene. M has a much clearer fingerprint of black metal, and Mareridt brings a feminine part to the front, and I think it’s a more concise album than the first, with a clearer understanding from the begining to the end. Myrkur is a project that does not lack dramatic elements and scenic play, and this project once again shows that black metal is something beyond the music itself, is about creating a certain atmosphere. Amalie Bruun makes an easy and natural transition between the pure voice and the Kulning sounds, to the black metal screams, managing to create a deep, dark and profound experience at the same time. Myrkur ended the concert with De Tre Piker, a Swedish folk song alongside a traditional drum, which I invite you to listen to below.

The evening ended with the Icelandic band Sólstafir, who made some changes in the style approached, but had a very good evolution, from 2002’s black metal album “In Blood and Spirit” to “Masterpiece of bitterness” (2005 ), “Köld” (2009), “Svatir Sandar” (2011), “Otta” (2014) and “Berdreyminn” which was released in May this year, which are post-metal/progressive metal approaches. The band that continued to reinvent, had an extraordinary concert for about 100 minutes. It’s the second time I see them live and I can say that they seemed even better than the first time. Their music seems to me to be an emotional journey, very complex, and the way vocalist Aðalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason communicates during the concert with the audience is unique. The vocalist descended from the stage among the people and sang near them, keeping eye contact and transmitting emotions to an even greater intensity.

Moreover, he even insisted that the fence that the concert organizer placed in order to differentiate the type of purchased tickets (golden from the normal ones) was set aside to let as many people as possible approach the stage and stay close to each other. It was probably also a lesson for the organizer, a lesson that can show that fences at indoor concerts are at least inappropriate, that such concerts are about experiences, communication beyond words and the atmosphere. And Sólstafir certainly showed all these things. The two guitarists of the band, Svavar “Svabbi” Austmann and Sæþór Maríus “Pjúddi” Sæþórsson, exceeded expectations, and the new drummer, Hallgrímur Jón “Grimsi” Hallgrímsson, was no less. Another pleasant surprise was the presence of Ragnar Ólafsson alongside Solstafir, the pianist from Árstíðir, who made a real sensation on stage.

And like every time, Aðalbjörn talked about the significance of some of their songs, having a nice, friendly and warm speech about awareness of depression.

This evening can be described as a story, the three bands managed, each one, to lead us through the mysticism of the Northern world, through strong emotions and the delightful brutality of black metal.

By Adriana Hurjui, Visum

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