Released: 2012, Code666
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Hailing from the icy northern wastes of Iceland, Dynfari return with their second album release Sem Skugginn. Dynfari is a 2-man Icelandic band founded in 2010, creating music that can best be described as Atmospheric/Post-Black Metal. The band uses a lot of experimental styles in order to create music that will guarantee an emotional response from their audience.
After a brief eerie spoken intro to the album, the opening track Glotun starts off with a sombre slow dirge to set the overall dark and depressing tone for the album. This particular song is so slow that it definitely borders on being full on Doom Metal with Black Metal influences rather than Black Metal itself. It’s a song that will most definitely suck out any form of good feeling of happiness that you had before hearing the album and leave you as a cold emotionless shell by the end of it.
The album then continues with Hjartmyrkvi which starts with a slow atmospheric keyboard intro that gives a feeling of a barren wasteland and sheer abandonment before exploding into a barrage of blast beats, aggressive black metal vocals and a wall of sound from the guitars. It’s on this track that the album really kicks into gear and the full aggressive side of the band is unleashed. The production on the album is really quite good as well for an up and coming band, as they seem to have opted for ensuring a clear sound for each part of the band rather than going for the overall fuzzy un-produced sound of other Black Metal artists. For this band in particular I think this works really well for them, especially in the slower more atmospheric sections of each song.
I would say also that if you’re not a fan of more progressive music with much longer songs than average then this may not be the album for you, as almost every song on the album is easily close to 10 minutes long each and the whole album totals up to over an hour in length, but for those of us who like our long drawn out experimental music (which in this case includes a few very cool Icelandic folk influences) then I think this is an album that you’ll really enjoy.
Overall I would say that this is a really solid album that has a really interesting and diverse range of emotions to it, from all out fast aggressive segments to massively slowed down deeply depressing atmospheric segments that really help to give the entire album its cold and soulless character. If you want an album to put you into a good mood and ready to face the day then this is most certainly not the album for you… …however if you want an album that’s pretty much guaranteed to make you feel cold and dead inside and devoid of all notion of hope for yourself then I can’t recommend this album enough.
Sem Skugginn is a unique album that will come out you at full force with all the dark, aggressive and depressing nature of a true Icelandic winter.
Review by Joffie Lovett