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Solstafir Ótta album cover
3.93 | 54 ratings | 3 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lágnćtti (8:44)
2. Ótta (9:38)
3. Rismál (4:24)
4. Dagmál (5:39)
5. Miđdegi (4:18)
6. Nón (7:47)
7. Miđaftann (5:39)
8. Náttmála (11:15)

Total Time 57:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Ađalbjörn Tryggvason / Guitar, Vocals
- Guđmundur Óli Pálmason / Drums
- Svavar Austmann / Bass
- Sćţór Maríus Sćţórsson / Guitar

Releases information

The song titles of "Ótta" form a concept based on an old Icelandic system of time keeping similar to the monastic hours called "Eykt" ("eight"). The 24 hour day was divided into 8 parts of 3 hours each. The album starts at midnight, the beginning of "Lágnćtti" ("low night"), continues through each Eyktir of the day and ends with "Náttmál" ("nighttime") from 21:00 to 0:00. This form of time keeping is more open than the relentless ticking of modern times, where each second is made to count, which turns humanity into cocks of the corporate clockwork.

Thanks to vinnyduke for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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SOLSTAFIR Ótta ratings distribution

(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

SOLSTAFIR Ótta reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FragileKings
4 stars It was very sad news for me to read a couple of months back that drummer Gudmundur Oli Pamason (spelled here without the Icelandic letters) had been kicked out of the band in January. He wrote a long explanation of the recent events occurring between him and his former band mates on Wordpress. I got to know of Solstafir several years ago through Gudmundur's mother who had become a friend of mine via a blog site and we maintain our friendship on Facebook. Gummi (as he is also known) is also a very talented photographer and artist and responsible for much of Solstafir's artwork. He started the band 20 years ago with Addi (vocalist Adalbjorn Tryggvason) and poured his life's energy into keeping the band going. I have exchanged some personal comments with him on Flickr about his photographs and he has left a few comments on mine. But more so, his mother and I continue to be good friends over the Internet, and so when I saw the link to the Wordpress site she posted, I was deeply saddened to read what it said.

Though I had known about Solstafir for a few years, I hesitated to buy an album. I was certain that extreme metal, sludge, post metal, and any kind of screamo / aggro metal was not for me. But thanks to my interest in progressive rock and metal, I came around to purchasing albums by Mastadon, Anathema, and Baroness and liked many of the songs. Then Gummi's mom posted last autumn on Facebook about the band's latest album, Otta, and the concept so intrigued me that I thought it was time to buy a CD. For reasons that would make this preamble even longer were I too explain, my order was delayed and I only finally got the CD in the mail at the end of May this year.

On my first listen, I was surprised at how slow and sedate some of the music was. There were many atmospheric moments with strings and piano or simple repeated notes or chords or guitar effects that made this music easy on the ears. I read some reviews of the album and listened again. Yes, there was definitely an atmosphere here, something like the bare B&W misty landscape scene in the CD booklet. There was cold, and loneliness, and there was solitude and isolation. Yet there was warmth and at times energy and power.

I listened again and again, finding each time that I liked the album more and more. Addi's vocals are full of emotion and expression and not the screamo type or death growls that I thought I might hear. He can raise his voice to impassioned shouting when the music calls for it, but he can also squeeze emotion from his voice in tender places, too. I was and am reminded of Anathema at times and there's a bit of similarity to Baroness here and there. But I am struck with the overall impression that this is a beautiful album and great for listening to when one is in the mood. Though not very technical or complex, the songs seem to have been crafted more with the focus being on casting a mood. The concept of 'Otta' is eight songs, one for each of the eight three- hour time periods of the Old Norse day. My enjoyment of this album had me considering getting a hold of one or two other Solstafir albums and I still might do that, though perhaps this is Solstafir's penultimate release.

I do hope things work out between Gummi and the rest of the band, even though the best result may be in Gummi getting a fair deal in royalties for his contributions to the band in his artwork and drumming and then moving on. It is such a pity to read this sad news after I only just finally got a Solstafir album home. Unfortunately, the latest update on his site says things are as sour as ever and it has become time to stop falsely hoping for friendship to win over and call in the lawyers. Most unfortunate. But that is the music business, is it not?

Review by BrufordFreak
4 stars Awesome atmospheric Post Metal/Post Rock from these Icelandic rockers. As fellow prog reviewer Gallifrey pointed out, this what Sigur Rós might sound like if they were more metal, the music is very much in the vein of SIGUR RÓS and EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY. The nuances and subtleties on this album are so worth paying attention to, so gorgeous and powerful, that I highly recommend the headphone treatment. They are, after all, timing and titling their songs after the Old Icelandic monastic tradition of three hour increments, called "monastic hours."

Favorite songs: the emotional and stunningly gorgeous almost chamber music of 7. "Midaftann" (5:39) (10/10); the very Sigur Rós-sounding 2. "Ótta" (9:38) (10/10); 1. "Lágnatti" (8:48) (10/10); 8. "Náttmála" (11:15) (8/10), and; 6. "Nón" (7:47) (8/10).

Solid four star album: excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

Latest members reviews

4 stars "So, you know how post metal seems like a great idea in concept, but the vast majority of it is overlong and dull atmospheric sludge? This one like, isn't." - me, on the discovery of Sólstafir's 2009 album Köld, circa 2013 The whole debate that is continuously raging about post-metal/atmosphe ... (read more)

Report this review (#1316630) | Posted by Gallifrey | Friday, November 28, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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