Label: Season Of Mist
Release date: 29-08-2014
It has been three years since the brilliant release of Sólstafir’s album Svartir Sandar, which continued the musical line from Masterpiece of Bitterness and Köld. When I heard a new album was coming this year, I couldn’t be more excited. The result is Ótta. Like Svartir Sandar, all the lyrics on the album are Icelandic. All the song titles on the record are based on an old Icelandic system of time keeping. A normal 24 hour day was divided into 8 parts of 3 hours each. The albums starts at night time and also ends there. So, now it’s time to spin this new album a lot!
The first few minutes of the opening song, Lágnætti, are at ease and mesmerizing. It builds up its tension before bursting out. It is a good mid-tempo track with many great elements in it. All in all, a good opening track that perfectly follows the line of the previous effort. The title track Ótta is again a great song, full of atmosphere where you could imagine sitting in Iceland at night, watching at a beautiful mystic landscape.
Rismál and Dagmál, the two morning songs, are more accessible for the main crowd. They are very relaxing songs, filled with emotion. Miðdegi is a more metal song and parts of the song remind me of the Masterpiece of Bitterness album. It sounds like a mix between Masterpiece and the later records.
Miðaftann is in one word brilliant. It’s more of a ballad, full of Icelandic atmosphere and emotion. A perfect song for the time of the day when the evening falls. I really could imagine, while listening to this, watching the sun go down and seeing all of Iceland slowly disappear from sight. Náttmál, the last song, is another brilliant track that shows perfectly what Sólstafir is all about. The despair in his voice and the great music that is sometimes like a volcano eruption. It can go anywhere. A great way to end yet another masterpiece.
Like on the Svartir Sandar album, the Icelandic lyrics don’t bother at all. It’s rather beautiful and fitting when you sing about this Icelandic day concept. The album in general may be a bit more at ease, more atmospheric and emotional. However, it’s still 100% Sólstafir and they would do well to continue the musical path they are now on. So, get this album and make the journey through the day yourself.