Album Review – Dynfari / Myrkurs er Þörf (2020)

The brand new album by an amazing Icelandic Atmospheric Black Metal unity sounds as beautiful and inspiring as it is quietly somber and menacing, and as illuminating as it is sorrowful.

Since the band’s formation as a duo in 2010 in the city of Reykjavík, Iceland, the Atmospheric Black Metal unity known as Dynfari has been making a name for themselves not only in Icelandic lands, but anywhere else in the world where Black Metal influenced, heavily atmospheric music is appreciated. Currently comprised of Jóhann Örn on vocals, bass, accordion, synths and guitars, Jón Emil on percussion and guitars, and Martin Tsenov and Bragi Knutsson also on the guitars, Dynfari deal with the philosophy of life, death, the universe, loss, hope and sorrow, having explored more progressive soundscapes in their blend of Post-Rock and Black Metal in the most recent works, while returning to a more atmospheric and direct attitude now in 2020 with their fifth full-length opus, titled Myrkurs er Þörf, or something like “darkness in needed” in English. Featuring a cryptic artwork by Metaztasis (Watain, Behemoth), the album is a chameleonic, labyrinthine mix of subgenres of rock and metal, sounding thickly atmospheric, as beautiful and inspiring as it is quietly somber and menacing, and as illuminating as it is sorrowful, flowing towards a darker, heavier side of the musical spectrum, expressing a violent refusal of merely becoming a means to an end.

The opening track Dauðans Dimmu Dagar (“the dark days of death”) starts in an ominous and ethereal way to minimalist guitar notes, being gradually accompanied by the percussion and beast by Jón until a dense wall of instrumental Atmospheric Black Metal fills out every single space in the air, morphing into the enfolding Langar Nætur (Í Botnlausum Spíralstiga), or “long nights (in bottomless spiral staircase)”, a flawless depiction of modern-day Icelandic Black Metal with Jóhann delivering anguished vocal lines while Martin and Bragi slash their seven-stringed weapons majestically. And the title-track Myrkurs Er Þörf keeps embracing our souls and taking us to chilling and despondent Icelandic lands showcasing another amazing guitar job done by the quartet, while Jóhann’s vocals sound like they’re coming from a place far, far away, whereas Ég Fálma Gegnum Tómið, or “I fade through the void”, exhales melancholy and hopelessness, with the Doom Metal-inspired beats by Jón walking hand in hand with the strident riffs by Martin and Bragi, keeping the album as dark and grim as possible.

The serene instrumental interlude titled Svefnlag (“sleeping layer”) brings some peace to our blackened hearts, setting the tone for the ode to despair and obscurity named Ég Tortímdi Sjálfum Mér (“I destroyed myself”), where Jóhann blasts his most introspective roars of the entire album while the song’s imposing background keys support the piercing riffage delivered by the quartet. Then what at first seems to be another calm and bitterly cold creation by Dynfari turns into a 10-minute majestic feast of heavy-as-hell, hypnotizing sounds titled Peripheral Dreams, a lecture in contemporary Black Metal led by the crushing beats by Jón intertwined with grandiose keyboards and doomed passages, also presenting elements from Folk Metal and Blackened Doom, running wild and free until its climatic grand finale. Lastly, the wicked bass lines by Jóhann ignite the closing tune Of Suicide and Redemption, an Atmospheric Black Metal aria that lives up to the legacy of the genre, bringing forward their trademark blast beats and symphonic keys and, therefore, ending the album on a truly inspiring note.

After all is said and done, I’m more than certain you’ll be mesmerized by the atmospheric and absolutely stunning music by Dynfari, and in order to show the band your support and appreciation don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, and of course to purchase a copy of Myrkurs er Þörf from their own BandCamp page, from the Aural Music webstore in CD, silver LP, or splatter LP format, and from other locations such as Amazon and mvdshop.com. An introspection on thoughts of suicide and self-destruction, Myrkurs er Þörf is another beautiful product form the always prolific and dynamic Icelandic metal scene, showing us all that not only Icelandic Black Metal continues to be on a healthy and inspiring rise, but also that we can count on the talented guys from Dynfari to keep embellishing the airwaves with their creations until darkness finally consumes us all.

Best moments of the album: Langar Nætur (Í Botnlausum Spíralstiga), Myrkurs Er Þörf and Peripheral Dreams.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Code666

Track listing
1. Dauðans Dimmu Dagar 5:23
2. Langar Nætur (Í Botnlausum Spíralstiga) 6:37
3. Myrkurs Er Þörf 4:52
4. Ég Fálma Gegnum Tómið 4:39
5. Svefnlag 2:57
6. Ég Tortímdi Sjálfum Mér 5:10
7. Peripheral Dreams 10:35
8. Of Suicide and Redemption 6:37

Band members
Jóhann Örn – vocals, bass, accordion, synths, guitars
Jón Emil – percussion, guitars
Martin Tsenov – guitars
Bragi Knutsson – guitars

1 thought on “Album Review – Dynfari / Myrkurs er Þörf (2020)

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