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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Review: Katla - Móðurástin

Icelandic band Katla, composed of the former Sólstafir drummer Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson, will release its debut album Móðurástin on October 27th. I had the chance to already have a listen, and here’s what you can expect:

The longplayer kicks off with the midtempo, drum-driven, instrumental track Aska. The general vibe is a mixture between desolation and hope, and would make a perfect soundtrack to drive to through Iceland’s wild north. Hyldýpi, the second track, starts off with the same sound, but soon picks up and becomes more of an alternative rock rack, accompanied by clean vocals and Icelandic lyrics – while still maintaining the melancholic sound. Nátthagi, the album’s first single, then contrasts the first two tracks by being more upbeat and fast, describing the return of life upon the first rays of sunshine (if Google translate of the lyrics didn’t mess up too bad ;)). Next up are two more mid-tempo tracks named Hvíla and Hreggur which remind of Sólstafir, but are still more upbeat, although Hreggur turns to a more doom-meets-rock sound towards its end. The title track starts off nice and quiet, but then turns out to be the fastest track of the entire album, with blast beats and more shouty vocals than the clear singing offered in the previous songs. It’s very refreshing and adds another layer of versatility to this album, on which you’re bound to discover new things with every time you listen to it. Kul, the second-to-last track, has even some jazz-vibe to it, and by being the slowest song is then also a stark contrast to Móðurástin. Unfortunately, the 8th track named Dulsmál already marks the end of the album – but before everything’s over, all the different layers, tunes and moods are picked up once again in this epic track, which proves itself to be a dignified closing song.

In conclusion: Katla’s Móðurástin once again proves that Icelandic bands are an analogy for high-quality music. It was advertised by Metal Injection as an “Ode to Iceland’s beauty”, and what sounds quite cheesy is actually very true – when you have been to this amazing country, then Katla’s music will take you back to all the great places you have visited. For anyone else it’s still an epic soundtrack for the darker days to come… and a record that you don’t want to miss! 10/10.

Written by Julia Obenauer

Read part 12 of Promoting Bands, in which we also mentioned Katla, here

Katla Facebook

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