The Icelandic black metal scene continues to pump out some of the most epic releases in years. The most prominent name, Misþyrming, have captivated listeners who are looking beyond the mainstream reach and have almost become global without travelling very far. What makes the scene even more special is the constant collaboration. Just looking at Misþyrming, their members are also credited on; Carpe Noctem, Skáphe, Naðra, 0, and more. Martröð is no different, made up by very notable names in the scene.
Upon hitting play, “Draumleiđsla” sends you into the bleakest depths as powerful horns and the hair-raising clatter of metal drag you down. Interjected are ghostly wisps that continue to grow in frequency until you’re right where Martröð want you. An assault of blast beats and reverbed haunted vocals pierce the mix. The powerhouse guitars conjure a massively dark atmosphere accented with samples of what sounds like a choir. The two track release continues delivering in this vein of sonic horror. “Draumleysa” beats on with guitars plucking out dissonant chords. The song features more siren sounds to keep you uncomfortable and on edge no matter what or how often you’ve listened. As the song continues, you’re met with a chilling interlude as reverbed guitars play a chord progression that can only be described as blasphemous.
By the end, you almost feel the same way you might have felt after Söngvar elds og óreiðu. Transmutation of Wounds drills into your core. Its an incredible debut from the outfit that I only wish was longer. Then again, if it's just barely over 16 minutes and it's leaving such a mark, I can’t complain that much. This deserves to be considered among the top 5 releases in the Icelandic metal scene.
- Alex B.