Iceland has an ever growing presence within the black metal genre and helping grow and make that presence felt is Almyrkvi with their debut full length Umbra. This record is a twisting cosmic release that provides you with suffocating atmospheres and ever changing soundscapes to present you with a cold, dark and mesmerizing listen. Six songs is what you will find within this release, and through each track you are presented with damning, bleak and at times haunting black metal that does a great job of getting right underneath your skin.
Umbra is a completely cohesive listen as each track seems to melt right in to the next without so much as skipping a beat. Almyrkvi never gifts you a break from their never ending onslaught of twisted cosmic black metal as they jump from the end of one track right in to the beginning of the next.
Each of the six tracks on this record are utterly devoid of all light and the more that you listen the further that you get dragged in to the empty void of space. Once you begin listening you become immediately shrouded in an atmosphere of cosmic misery and gloom from which you will never find solace. The atmosphere that Almyrkvi provides within this record is nightmarish. Throughout each song you are greeted with unsettling choir-esque singing that pairs up perfectly with the rest of the odd screeching and twisting sounds that are added in to create such a massively perilous atmosphere. Umbra as a whole is a melancholic and stunningly bleak listen, but even with that being said, it is mesmerizing all the same.
Almyrkvi does a great job of pulling you in to this release and having you stay all throughout its run time. Almyrkvi provides you with compelling tracks that are just as punishing as they are hypnotizing. Barreling drums are paired with soul lacerating riffs and demonic blood thirsty vocals all while a harrowing and bone splintering atmosphere plays on your fears. Almyrkvi couples their atmospheric elements with their unrelenting black metal assault very well to create a comprehensive and completely damning listen.
Through and through Umbra impresses. This release is massive and completely soul consuming. Once you begin listening you can’t escape the twisted and frigid tunes of Almyrkvi. Umbra is a haunting and devilish record that grabs your attention immediately never to let it go until the final track has concluded. For a debut full length, this record certainly is impressive and is sure to leave its mark in the black metal genre. With its abyssal cosmic atmospheres and its aggressive metallic pummelings, Umbra is a great listen, one that you don’t mind leaving on repeat for the foreseeable future.
Umbra is to be released through Van Records on November 24, 2017.