The Black Phoenix Rising Pick Of The Week – written by Demoniac
So, this week on the Metal Legions podcast it’s Nordic week, and I was given the opportunity to contribute a track to the Nordic special if I wanted to. With that in mind, it seemed like a great opportunity to introduce people to Árstíðir Lífsins, one of those rare diamonds of the metal underground and a band which doesn’t get a fraction of the credit they deserve. They’re a three-man band, consisting of members from both Iceland and Germany, and their music for the most part consists of a blend of black and folk metal. However, what marks this band as something truly unique and special is the sheer depth and attention to detail put in regarding the subject matter and inspiration for their music. It focuses heavily on ancient Icelandic literature, folklore and sagas yet carefully researched and composed, and goes to great lengths to avoid the clichés employed by many bands of this style. While similarities may well be present, this is not Viking metal, certainly not as we currently think it.
Saying this, it’s an unfortunate fact that lyrically this will remain unappreciated given the lyrics are written in old Icelandic. Musically however no translation is required and on listening you will hopefully appreciate the efforts of Árstíðir Lífsins in bringing to life these ancient traditions, and you’ll also enjoy some excellent black / folk metal as well. I’d say give it your full attention though, it’s a demanding listen at times yet a hugely rewarding one and like a lot of music you will ultimately get out what you put in with this band. They are well worth it, I’d say especially if you’re a fan of Moonsorrow and similar bands this will be right up your alley, or if you enjoy any combination of black or folk metal you’ll find a hell of a lot to like about Árstíðir Lífsins. They’ve got three albums as well as a couple of EPs and a split currently available, all via the excellent Ván Records and you can check them out on Bandcamp via the link below.