Arstidir Lifsins – Saga á tvei m tungum II: Eigi fj ǫ ll né firðir (Review)

Arstidir Lifsins - Saga IIArstidir Lifsins are an international, (Germany/Iceland), black metal band, and this is their fifth album.

Here we have 74 minutes of pagan black metal, incorporating elements of the atmospheric, folk, and ambient styles.

This is a bold and ambitious release that incorporates old and new blackened influences into its material. However, it doesn’t restrict itself to purely black metal domains, and instead makes extensive use of folk and ambient elements to provide a greater breadth of delivery. This is my first encounter with Arstidir Lifsins, but it’s clear that this is a very creative band that take pride in their work. Theirs is a layered sound, one that’s meticulously-wrought and multifaceted. Using a variety of instruments and sounds the band create folk-driven blackened soundscapes that entrance and enthral.

The album is a story, and each song a chapter. Each is different and has its own feel, personality, and place in the whole. The result is a very diverse piece of work, where each track offers something different, from all-acoustic calmness and ambient scene-setting, to raging blackened tempests, with a lot covered in between. The focus here is on narrative and atmosphere rather than pure aggression, despite certainly having aggressive qualities when it needs to.

This is a long and involved release, but one that’s very rewarding if you take the time to explore its depths.

Very highly recommended. Impressive and immersive.

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