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solstafir svartirsandar
Artist: Sólstafir
Title: Svartir Sandar
Genre: Dark Metal
Release Date: 14th October 2011
Label: Season Of Mist

Album Review

Icelandic SÓLSTAFIR formed in 1995, their beginnings are slightly confusing as their first demo and debut seem to have gone through re-releases, delays and some other mischief, not to mention line-up shuffles... but then there was ‘Masterpiece of Bitterness’ in 2005, followed by ‘Köld’ in 2009. Now there is ‘Svartir Sandar’ to follow them up. The whole album (which is divided into two parts – CD’s – ‘Andvari’ and ‘Gola’) is sung in their home language, but this time (meaning with this band) it’s not something that hinders the enjoyment of the album. The music and especially its expressiveness and intensity mean that it’s even an excellent advantage that it cannot be universally understood – it affords the listeners to inject their own imagination into it and it feels to me that to have known the meaning of the songs exactly would hinder my freedom of ‘movement’ in the vast soundscapes they create.

Though I do love the title ‘Svartir Sandar’ which apparently means black sand and may suggest some poetic nature within the words also, the music is just that – unadulterated metal poetry. The intensity is something I especially Love (yes capital L) about this album – the agonising, melancholic immediacy is mostly evoked by the fantastic expressiveness of Aðalbjörn Tryggvason’s vocal, another point is the drumming, though guitars are in no way second to it! Take especially the intricate beauty they create in ‘Djákninn’ or the way the bass infuses darkly in ‘Æra’ or the minimalistic perfection of ‘Kukl’. Another point is that these musical landscapes they invite you into are very varied so your trip with them will not get boring at any point and the journey will be all worthy, its scale of emotiveness giving you a complex experience just as a complicated existence felt deeply is, not to mention the way the album awakens and spins your imagination to the full richness. With each listen not to gush about it became impossible. So, yes, I am saying this – do go and get this album, it’s brilliant and intrinsically beautiful and in many ways even inspiring.


CD1 "Andvari"
01. Ljós í Stormi
02. Fjara
03. Þín Orð
04. Sjúki Skugginn
05. Æra
06. Kukl

CD 2 "Gola"
01. Melrakkablús
02. Draumfari
03. Stinningskaldi
04. Stormfari
05. Svartir Sandar
06. Djákninn


Aðalbjörn Tryggvason - Guitar, vocals
Guðmundur Óli Pálmason - Drums
Svavar Austmann - Bass
Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson - Guitar

Websites /

Cover Picture

solstafir svartirsandar


Music: 10
Sound: 10
Total: 10 / 10

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