The always intriguing, fascinating, and wildly creative Norwegian duo, SOLEFALD, are back with another journey into Norwegian history. Norrøn Livskunst is absolutely bursting with substance and content to uncover and enjoy.
Musically, this is SOLEFALD doing what they do best - unique avant garde Norwegian black metal that always incorporates new sounds to stir the pot. Dynamics and diversity rule Norrøn Livskunst. Much of the lyrics are sung in a 1917 variant of Norwegian called “høgnorsk.”
The first curveball comes in the form of “Tittentattenteksti.” ANIMAL ALPHA/DJERV’s Agnete Kjølsrud does an amazing job in creating this wicked, trollish, rhythmically rapid fire vocal attack contrasted against soothing ghostly vocals. Some will undoubtedly hate it while others will love it.
The weirdness doesn’t stop there. “Blackabilly/Stidsljod” follows with some of the weirdest lyrics ever (i.e. “Rockabilly mockabilly / Blackabilly burnin’ / Fuckabilly muckabilly / Whackabilly churnin’” and “Hey chilihead”) and almost children’s song vocal lines in the first verses by vocalist/guitarist/bassist Cornelius. But the song works very well.
“Eukalyptustreet” brings the bombastic madness to a halt with a mellow song filled with pianos and saxophones. There is a keyboard riff in the song that is absolutely epic and magical. However, the band teases the listener by only playing the riff once at a time during the song.
“Raudedauden” has got one of the greatest classic Norwegian black metal riffs this side of old DARKTHRONE plus a nimble fingered guitar solo courtesy of Vangelis Labrakis (MENCEA).
“Hugferdi” has an inexplicable wank lead guitar part that sounds like someone learning to play their wah wah for the first time. Very bizarre.
The band return to their epic An Icelandic Odyssey albums with the equally epic, “Waves over Valhalla: An Icelandic Odyssey Part III.” The song start off with the excellent lyric, “As the last god on Earth I ask for a whisky.”
Beyond what has been highlighted above, there is so much more to Norrøn Livskunst to be enjoyed like the fantastic arrangements and vocal performances by Lazare. While it may take a while to catch up to where Cornelius and Lazare’s heads were at while creating this record, the journey is well worth it. As always, when you’re ready to graduate to a new level of eclectic, eccentric metal, SOLEFALD will be waiting. (The End Records/Indie Recordings)