Release DetailsLABEL Season of Mist
RELEASED ON 11/14/2006
Black for Death: An Icelandic Odyssey, Pt. II
posted on 1/2007 By:
Lazare and Cornelius return for part two of their Icelandic Odyssey and it basically is on par with the high quality of part one, Red For Fire.
Though I often think I have the testicular fortitude to review anything thrown at me, the eclectic nature of Solefald, and their fervent fans, especially when undertaking such a monumental task as a two part epic based on Norse mythology, proves tough to dissect. Pussy quaking aside at such a daunting task, it’s obvious that the duo of Lazarus and Cornelius are two of the most convention defying musicians around and have arguably picked up the mantle dropped by Arcturus on The Sideshow Symphonies.
As with Red For Fire, Black For Death is an experimental, progressive sort of black-ish metal with a Viking lean, due to the subject matter, but makes no qualms about delivering unexpected elements within the framework of a Norse concept. For example, as with Red For Fire, the saxophone again appears on Black For Death (“Underworld”, “Dark Waves Dying”), again rendering the track as a sort of Viking Vegas lounge number, but somehow works. Also, the use of grizzled spoken word for the Eddic poem again returns for “Lokasenna part 2 and 3".
However, when such quirky elements are backed by Lazare’s still unique voice as well as the band’s grasp of challenging, unpredictable, yet satisfying and lushly produced metal such as stunning opener “Red For Fire;Black For Death”, a sort of two album, concept uniting central number, the hypnotic “Silver Dwarf”, “Queen In the Bay of Smoke” (this album’s “White Frost Queen”), the epic “Allfathers” as well as the terribly catchy trot of personal favorite “Necrodyssey”.
The much hyped appearance of Garm (Ulver, Borknagar, Arcturus, etc) is a little disappointing for “Trickster God Loki” a whimsical rather non-metal track, that seems to cement Garm has left his metal days long behind him. However, closing number “Sagateller” wraps up the album and the entire odyssey with a fitting reprise and stirringly epic closure.
I will be very interested how Solefald follow up this rather grand duo. Do they continue their Nordic storytelling or return to their more unconventional themes that seem to fit their music? Either way, I’m sure it will be more experimental brilliance.
So long as Lazare delivers another Asmegin album soon.
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Red For Fire - An Icelandic Odyssey Part I
In Harmonia Universali