ENDALOK – Úr draumheimi viðurstyggðar
A lot of musically exciting and mind-blowing things are happening in the Icelandic metal underground these days. Well, actually, lots of cool things have been happening in that particular part of the scene for years now, but that is beside the point. What matters here is that the obscure and wonderfully mysterious entity that is Endalok unleashed this excellent opus in early 2017 and that it is well-worth exploring in detail if you have not done so already.
This 5-track EP, which bears the exotic title of "Úr draumheimi viðurstyggðar", is a swirling mass of blackened atmospheres and punishing soundscapes that repeatedly lash out at one. The whole vibe of the EP oozes darkness and negativity. There is nothing life-affirming or even remotely uplifting about this wicked release. This is pitch black music that will inevitably grind you down and leave you crushed on the floor. Each composition is dynamic and moves between crushing doom-like riffs to violent black metal-ish outbursts and further on to almost ambient-like textures. Uncertainty and unpredictability loom large on this one; it is impossible to tell where each part is heading next, which is the beauty of it. The raw and yet nicely warm and organic sound emphasizes and underlines the twisted and rotten mood of the record while the gruff vocals wish you nothing but harm. The strangely hypnotic melodies are like an uncomfortable spell that is impossible to break. There are countless subtle details and nuances and so on that gradually reveal themselves each time you spin this disc and it is most definitely one of those releases that one can return to over and over again. Thrilling and yet gloomy, "Úr draumheimi viðurstyggðar" is a must-have if experimental black metal gets your tiny wiener hard. A most sinister musical journey through otherworldly regions of despair.