Dynfari – Myrkurs er þörf

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: https://www.code666.net
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://dynfari.bandcamp.com/album/myrkurs-er-rf
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Dynfari

Band line-up:

Jóhann Örn – vocals, bass, accordion, synths, guitars
Jón Emil – percussion,guitars
Martin Tsenov- guitars
BragiKnutsson- guitars

Tracklisting:

1. Dauðans dimmu dagar
2. Langar nætur (í botnlausum spíralstiga)
3. Myrkurs er þörf
4. Ég fálma gegnum tómið
5. Svefnlag
6. Ég tortímdi sjálfum mér
7. Peripheral Dreams
8. Of Suicide Redemption

Review:

Dynfari are an Icelandic atmospheric metal band with black metal influences who formed in 2010. They will be realising their fifth album ‘Myrkurs er Porf’ on 18th September, 2020. Their lyrical themes deal with the philosophy of life, death and the universe. They also express a violent refusal of becoming a means to and end. The album artwork was done by Metaztasis who has also worked with Watain and Behemoth. Metal Hammer describes the release as ‘a doom-infected, multi-faceted elegy conducted amidst Iceland’s barren wastes’.

As soon as the drummer comes in, a slightly negative impression is created. He isn’t that bad, but his playing is consistently a little out of time. But things don’t end there; the singer mostly kind of sings pitches but he kind of screams simultaneously. It’s a bit of a weird middle ground, but rather than him sounding powerful as I’m sure is intended, his shouts are pretty feeble relatively speaking. It doesn’t sound horrible, but it’s not good, either. It’s a massive shame the singer doesn’t sing completely clean all the time, as he has a genuinely good voice when he tries. The instrumental melodies and chord progression never offend the ears in any way, but they are far from adventurous for the most part. At best they have something about them, at worst they are dull. The bass lines are sometimes more creative than with your typical metal band, however. It’s not all unison stuff, and there are some tasty fills.

Many of the highlights of this album are the bits that aren’t actually metal, showing the musicians are pretty diverse. There are some pretty strong ambient moments but sadly they are uncommon and act more as filler than anything else. The song ‘Svefnag’ is a nice bit of peace before the expected heaviness. The textures throughout much of the LP are ambitious, in fact. Arguably the strongest parts of the music are its consistent, interesting song structures that always build nicely and sometimes with a lot of passion and adrenaline. They frequently surprise without sounding odd. You could call these guys progressive metal. They couldn’t be compared to Dream Theater, but bands such as Threshold have written simpler material. Having said that, the musicianship is far more basic, here.

In conclusion there are lots of flaws here, but there are just as many positive attributes. You often hear of artists that are too power-chord based and are all about punkish hedonism that is too safe, or on the other end of the spectrum, are completely insane with too much showing off that makes little musical sense, so it’s nice to get a middle ground, here. If you’re looking for taste and style, this group could be for you. There is a lot to this album too, giving it a long lifespan and if you can get over the mild performance issues, it will most likely grow on you. Recommended if you’re open minded, but be warned that the singer who most will expect to lead the band, rarely contributes anything that is positive. 

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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