Solstafir – Berdreyminn
Label: Season of Mist
Release Date: May 26, 2017
I will be the first to admit, not many bands can grab my attention right away. There have been zero bands who speak in a language other than my own…….until now. When I first listened to Solstafir’s latest album Berdreyminn, I had no idea what to expect. As I listened, I sat there transfixed before I even realized his melodic voice was speaking words I could not understand. I sat confused, not because I didn’t understand, but because while he was speaking this unknown language, I almost felt I could understand him. I felt saddened, like he was sending out stories of pain and suffering, but done so beautifully, I wanted to weep. I listened over and over, but the track “Naros” was the song that really hit me hard. The melodies of the guitar in the beginning hit my soul. His voice penetrated deeper. When they all came together in a heavier gut wrenching riff, it was an enlightenment of pure sorrow and joy.
Another song, “Hula”, is almost hypnotizing at first. There is an almost angelic singing at the beginning, then a piano emerges which compliments the song wonderfully. His vocals are antagonizing in this song. It almost sounds as if he is crying out, and I want to know for what. When you feel your heart cannot take anymore, the angelic singing reappears, in the most beautiful way. The album ends with “Bláfjall” which completes what has now felt like a journey through beauty and pain. This song has a bit of a faster beat than the other too, but is just as heartfelt. The drumbeat in the background will have you nodding your head, stomping your feet, and swaying back and forth.
I had to look more into this band I had never had the pleasure of hearing before and learned they are from Iceland, and what they were speaking was Icelandic. Never before have I wanted to pick up another language so quickly. The members include Aðalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason as the vocalist and guitarist, Sæþór Maríus “Pjúddi” Sæþórsson the other guitarist, Svavar “Svabbi” Austmann on the bass, and newest member Hallgrímur Jón “Grimsi” Hallgrímsson on the drums. Wanting more and more, I looked them up on YouTube and found some official videos so I could put faces to the music. I was somewhat shocked to see an almost Viking style in the singer, yet when I watched him, I continued to see what I had already heard, sadness. I do not know who writes the lyrics, whether they are written from experiences or just telling stories, but he sells those lyrics better than most vocalists. Berdreyminn, is something special. You may need to give it a couple listens to fully grasp all I am trying to say about this band, because it is a journey, not just a sit and chill without emotions album. Get ready, it will be worth it.