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SOLSTAFIR

Experimental/Post Metal • Iceland


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Solstafir biography
Sˇlstafir - Band name explanation by guitarist and vocalist A­albj÷rn Tryggvason:
"Crepuscular rays. Alternating light and dark bands of light (rays and shadows) that appear to fan out from the sun's position; usually occur around sunrise and sunset, also when the sun shines through breaks in clouds."

Background:
Sˇlstafir is from Iceland and came to existence around 1994, but there is no exact known date.
As drummer Gu­mundur Ëli Pßlmason recalls he was asked by guitarist and vocalist A­albj÷rn Tryggvason (or Addi as he's called) to join the band in December 1994. However, he says, the first rehearsal wasn't until January 1995. At that time they were a trio, with Halldˇr Einarsson on bass. They composed several songs from basic riffs that Addi and Halldˇr wrote and played in other formations in 1993/4, and also wrote new tracks as well. In 1998 bassist Halldˇr had left the band and was replaced by Svavar Austmann. The other guitarist, SŠ■ˇr M. SŠ■ˇrsson joined only in 1999, for their live shows. The fours guys (Addi, SŠ■ˇr, Halldˇr and Gu­mundur) knew each other from childhood.
In 1995 the band released a demo tape "═ Nor­ri". Then they recorded the demo "Til Valhallar" which was never officially released. However, four of the six songs in that demo were released as a MCD by View Beyond Records. In 1997 and 1998 they recorded two promotional tapes. It was not until 1999 that they started recording their full length debut album called "═ Blˇ­i og Anda". Its release was delayed time and time again and was only released in 2002 by the German label Ars Metalli. Unfortunately the label closed soon after the album's release and so the CD soon became a rarity and did not get proper promotion. February 2002 sees the band recording five songs for Black Death: The Demo. But this was never officially released but three of the songs were released as Black Death: The EP by the German labels Ketzer Rec and Neodawn Prod. "Til valhallar" was re-mastered and re-released with all six tracks, a colour cover and comments for all the songs, by Russian Oskorei production in 2003. This was followed by the re-release of "═ Blˇ­i og Anda" in 2004 by the same label. February 2004 is when the band started recording "Masterpiece Of Bitterness". Three songs from this album were released as a promo in the...
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Buy SOLSTAFIR Music


OttaOtta
Season of Mist 2014
Audio CD$22.47
Svartir SandarSvartir Sandar
Season Of Mist 2011
Audio CD$10.24
$15.93 (used)
Masterpiece of Bitterness - SolstafirMasterpiece of Bitterness - Solstafir
Import
Spikefarm 2006
Audio CD$7.00
$16.93 (used)
KoldKold
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2009
Audio CD$5.44
$9.70 (used)
Masterpiece of BitternessMasterpiece of Bitterness
Import
Svart 2013
Vinyl$26.49
I Blodi Og AndaI Blodi Og Anda
Season of Mist 2013
Audio CD$8.92
$8.91 (used)
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SOLSTAFIR shows & tickets


  • Metal Hammer Paradise 2014 on 14 Nov 2014

SOLSTAFIR discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SOLSTAFIR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 7 ratings
═ Blˇ­i og Anda
2002
3.24 | 10 ratings
Masterpiece Of Bitterness
2005
4.00 | 15 ratings
K÷ld
2009
3.00 | 10 ratings
Svartir Sandar
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ëtta
2014

SOLSTAFIR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SOLSTAFIR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SOLSTAFIR Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SOLSTAFIR Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
═ Nor­ri
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Til Valhallar
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Promo Tape September 1997
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unofficial Promo 1998
1998
4.00 | 1 ratings
Black Death: The
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Promo 2004
2004

SOLSTAFIR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Svartir Sandar by SOLSTAFIR album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.00 | 10 ratings

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Svartir Sandar
Solstafir Experimental/Post Metal

Review by the philosopher

2 stars Solstavir is an wave / post-metal band from Iceland. The music is quiet minimalistic with just a few chords and lots of echo. The vocals have a great resemblance with the vocalist of The Cure. Actually the whole band reminds me a lot of the Cure. The rhythms are created mostly by the bass guitarist and drummer, while the guitarist is just firing sole chords. There is some hypnotic effect, although this is just a small effect compared with the psychobeats in the krautrock movement.

While I do like the soundscapes created by this band and can handle with the vocals, the song structures are too simple for me to really appreciate this band. There is some development within the songs, but no real surprises; only some rhythm changes. The instrumental solo's are really simple and only meant for effective use.

I'm not a post metal fan and I hope there will be other reviews available soon to give other views on this album. For me this. I find this record too long to listen to it till the end and therefor I cannot give this record more then two stars...

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 ═ Blˇ­i og Anda by SOLSTAFIR album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.19 | 7 ratings

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═ Blˇ­i og Anda
Solstafir Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars I suppose that this album is for die hard fans of genre only. Because if this is meant for everybody, then there is mistake somewhere in between speakers and my mind. This is one big pain prolonged to about 60 minutes. With exception of instrumental songs like The Underworld Song that makes about 50% of this album, there are poorly sung songs. Yes, I can stand growls (now, I couldn't before), but this kind of vocals, where thread of singing is slipping out of singer's hands, where he cannot handle it properly, this is something I won't get used to.

Guitars and other instruments are average, nothing special and extraordinary remarkable. Why should they, when all casual fans of this genre is in this music contained. However, not to me, I'm somewhat more demanding "fan". Here, I'm more critic than to music I listen more. But that doesn't matter, because some facts are hard to deny. Like that Bitch in Black is perfect song with "normal" vocals this time, performed flawlessly (there's nothing I could voice against), but as I said, this is not majority of the album (nor minority). And the rest is just your default extreme metal from next door dragged down by vocals.

Tough call, because "second" half of this album is quite good. I like it, it's more calm, more acoustic like and I can appreciate more things here then.

3(+), I suppose, maybe little bit more, but not so much. Without first half, it would be almost 5-star rating.

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 Masterpiece Of Bitterness by SOLSTAFIR album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.24 | 10 ratings

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Masterpiece Of Bitterness
Solstafir Experimental/Post Metal

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Psychedelic brutality

Heavy, aggressive, raw, angry, dark, repetitive, hypnotic, mesmerizing, psychedelic. Bitter? All of these words can serve as good descriptions for the music that Solstafir plays on this album.

Sˇlstafir is an Icelandic band that was created in 1994 and went through several phases and demo, promo and EP releases up to the point of releasing their first full-length in 2002 and this one, their second, in 2005. Sˇlstafir provides a listening experience that's based on mood, power and "tripping out" with the music and not on technical playing, complexity or virtuosity. If you want to know more about the background of the band, you're welcome to read the bio I've written for them in their page in Prog Archives. Made up of 7 songs, mostly long, with the opener being almost 20 minutes, this album can be exhausting (in a good way) and one needs to be in a proper mood to absorb its entire 70 minutes. The length, however, doesn't mean the songs harbor diversity or are complex epics; rather it should tell you of their inclination to create lengthy metallic freakout. At times it sounds like long repetitive and endless jams. That is, they go on for quite a while in their hypnotic riffing (which can be either slow or fast), and thus create a particular mood that can serve as a good companion to chill out or float away with your thoughts; that is until A­albj÷rn Tryggvason, the vocalist, resumes his screams. The vocals are mostly harsh screaming which to me seem to fit the music quite well, although at times can be too much or out of place; they complete very well the feel of the music and add to the intensity level. The thing is that when they're jamming or more accurately in their trance mode, it can be a bit tedious and too long; but when they garner up speed and energy, it's fabulous. Their dynamic side is impossible for me to ignore or let go by unnoticed; it's too thrilling and catchy and makes me shake my head or legs. Add to that the heaviness of their music and it can be a crushing experience. The guitars come crumbling down on my ears unmercifully and raw sounding, enhanced by the aforementioned vocals and with the blasting drums, one gets an ear a "devastating" listening experience. There are songs like Ljˇsfari, which have a haunting catchy melodic peak (yes, melodic). Those are great moments in the album, though not found often enough in my opinion.

A Masterpiece Of Bitterness is an angry album; it's heavy and raw. It's a great album to let loose your energies with. It's powerful and can be almost hypnotic in the parts where they play those ongoing riffs continuously. It's an effective and well made metal release but not an outstanding one. I do enjoy listening to it but there are some flaws as I mentioned in the review that prevent me from enjoying it more, such as some over-repetitiveness. I also think they should introduce more variety into their songs; there are places where I feel they could have gone further on and develop the theme or idea more and make the song more interesting and thus even more compelling to listen to.

I'm intrigued to see whether the band's next album will be in a similar vein or will they progress from this point onwards.

3.5 stars

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