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Einóma Undir, Feilnótum Review

Album. Released July 2002.  

BBC Review

Darkcore electronica that soundtracks the end of the world ? Apocalyptic fun from...

Olli Siebelt 2002

It's refreshing to see that even in this post-Sigur Ros world, the music industry's attention span isn't short enough to forget what amazing musical feats Iceland is capable of. After several years of magazine and website articles extolling the virtues of Reykjavik's obsession with "ethereal wonder", "glacial beauty" and "gorgeous melody", it seems that cracks are beginning to form in usual stereotypes one would associate with Iceland's musical output, and that a much darker side to the country is now finally making its presence felt.

We saw it first with Mínus, a band who took us to a dark, angry yet completely original side of hardcore not usually represented in the world of guitar rock. Now, continuing the trend and taking it one step further, is another Reykjavik based band: Einóma.

Consisting of a duo named Bjarni and Steindór, the pair have been friends for years and a creative force in Reykjavik for just as long. They began their creative career in Iceland as independent filmmakers and then recently moved to music composition full time. After a few small releases on Iceland's Uni:Form label, the pair singed to Vertical Form earlier this year and now have released this stunning full length.

Like Skinny Puppy, Burzum or Coil, Undir, Feilnótumseems riddled with an organic and mythological intent. From the heavy and plodding beats of "Hringlogun" to the Lovecraftian soundtrack of "Brot", the album embraces us in shadow, its creepy techno backbeat doing nothing to remove us from the dusty darkened corners outside which sinister landscapes lurk.

Listening to the eight tracks here, the duos previous work as filmmakers is self-evident. The compositions here are very visual in nature,withmulti-layered structures consistently shifting and skulking around. It simply sounds like nothing coming out of Reykjavik today.

Within one of the legendary Icelandic Sagas, there is astory called Völuspá, which translates to something like "Sybill's Prophecy". In it, there is the tale of Ragnarök; a time when the sun will become black, the earth will sink into total darkness and the Gods will die, the planet surrounded by an atmosphere of dark magic and hopeless tragedy.

Einóma, it seems, have done their homework and have written the perfect soundtrack to the end of the world.

You know what? It couldn't sound better.

A fabulous and highly original work.

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