For many years now the Icelandic black metal outfit Auðn has weaved emotive melodies of their own. Ever since the band was established in 2010 they have become known for playing an atmospheric form of black metal distinguishable from the rest of the Icelandic black metal bands. Auðn‘s self-titled debut album brought a multitude of melodic textures, yet it was back in 2017 with their sophomore ‘Farvegir fyrndar‘, that they established their sound driven by pure melodies of the rhythm guitars and raucous vocalization. Within the lineup, they have strengthened the guitar department with an endless spectrum of emotive melodies. The consists of three guitarists Hjálmar Gylfason, Aðalsteinn Magnússon, and Andri Björn Birgisson. With Hjalti Sveinsson on vocals, Matthías Hlífar Mogensen on bass guitar, and finally Sigurður Kjartan Pálsson on drums they have meticulously crafted memorable hooks.
Auðn has simultaneously found creative ways to merge aggression and melodic sensibilities. The majority of tracks are structured upon multiple guitar layers hence the music offers many bleak moments that slowly move into somber passages. With its grandiose opening track such as ‘Einn um alla tíð‘ Auðn seems to explore new inventive elements.
With ‘Vökudraumsins fangi‘ the Icelandic sextet focus on the instruments with unprecedented competence. Each track here feels dramatically different. Although they emphasize aggression, ravenous vocals are mainly supplied by the gloomy guitar performance. On other tracks like ‘Eldborg‘ and ‘Birtan hugann brennir‘ Auðn proves that their music has many beautiful aspects to it.
The dramatic presentation of guitar harmonies and soaring lead guitars drift flawlessly. The melodic interplay is brought by such vividness with the thundering guitars and the splendid riff work adding more layers to the song composition. Auðn on their latest album mold their sound as they gracefully create memorability. Drums possess such tremendous pace leaving you staggered to the superiority of the songwriting. The tracks are built slowly and without any rushing yet with each passing moment, Auðn reveals one facet after another.
The piercing tremolos and the string arrangements depict landscapes of majestic mountains and terrains. ‘Verður von að bráð‘ and ‘Drepsótt‘ are both powerful and display a harsher percussive performance. The background swells with cascading guitar melodies juxtaposed with the drums. There is always ample space for guitars to form rich layers while vocals rasps are constantly uttered in a violent way. The tremolo pickings are vastly used on ‘Næðir um‘ and ‘Horfin mér‘. Here the stunning picking style builds up a catchy melodic intensity. There is great depth to the range of the guitar lines.
‘Vökudraumsins fangi‘ presents extreme and dramatic elements of modern black metal. At the same time Auðn fuse their distinguishable qualities and ideas fluently. Songs are atmospherically morose, full of gloomy shades of the cold Icelandic winter. The album draws a thin line between aggression and the deeply melancholic elements of Icelandic black metal. Despite the sheer tranquility, most tracks transition into furious and unsettling tempos providing a morose mood for the listener. Needless to say, the sophomore and the third album both harmonize with each other. Despite its minor change in scope, the newest effort explores various riffs suggesting the band have evolved musically. These melodies that are strummed with passion create a dramatic backdrop to the music. Raging with the ravenous spirit of Scandinavian black metal, the ninth track ‘Ljóstýra‘ ventures into a fast-paced tempo.
The final track ‘Vökudraumsins fangi‘ is elegantly crafted and imbued with dark tints of nature. This track contains sorrowful guitar melodies that are brilliantly executed, while the drums maintain slow pacing throughout the track. The melodies create a backdrop to this epic closure Auðn’s third album expands on many thematic aspects. Thus they continue to evolve by intertwining complex songwriting skills that often bring them close to the likes of Wiegedood and Winterfylleth. This comes as a high recommendation to fans of atmospheric and melodic black metal.
Release Date: October 30th, 2020
Label: Season of Mist
- Einn um alla tíð
- Birtan hugann brennir
- Verður von að bráð
- Næðir um
- Horfin mér
- Á himin stara
- Vökudraumsins fangi