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Vápna lækjar eldr

by Árstíðir lífsins (Ván Records)

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Dan Capp
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Dan Capp Take the Bathory blueprint, give it a darker mood, throw in some folkish instruments and gutteral chants, then study the lore a bit deeper... that's what this is and that's why I like it. Well-crafted.
Barbarian Skull
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Nick K
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Nick K The description is facile, but this band is nothing less than the Icelandic Moonsorrow. Fantastic, epic music that tells a story through a beautiful, atmospheric folk/black hybrid. Favorite track: Ek sé framtíð í ísa broti.
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about

The over 70 min. long opus 'Vápna lækjar eldr' (a kenning for 'battle') represents the second output of this outstanding band which follows the highly acclaimed debut 'Jötunheima dolgferð', an extensive album with over 70 min. playtime that was released via Ván Records in November 2010 both on Vinyl and CD. Lyric-wise, the album follows the story and history of the first years of Icelandic free state in 930 AD, where the Alþingi in south-west Iceland was started and a new division of the already completely divided land was done. The lyrics are written in (old) Icelandic with a strong influence from Old Norse kennings and heiti that were taken from skaldic sources. Together with patterns from known sagas such as Njáls saga, Egils saga (from which the lyrics of the chant on song 7 are taken) and others the story on 'Vápna lækjar eldr' leads the listener to harsh and merciless old Icelandic surroundings of the 10th century, describing a blood feud between two families. While writing the lyrics great care was taken not to include nowaday´s clichés of that period of nordic history. On the opposite, with help of scientific literature and primary sources such as the aformentioned sagas or scaldic poetry from, for example, Snorri Sturluson´s Skaldskápamál, the lyrics on 'Vápna lækjar eldr' try to create a rather realistic view of a farmer´s life that might have been lived in such a form in 10th century Westfjords of Iceland.

The music on the second album of Árstíðir lífsins is again situated in nordic black metal with influences from Scandinavian folk music and ambient sounds. To create a suitable and atmospheric sound to the listener, again a wide range of unusual instruments was used, including instruments as double-bass, violins, jew´s harp or an organ, playing a chant by medieval french componist Adam de la Halle at the very end of the album.

credits

released May 1, 2012

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