Örmagna - Örmagna

Örmagna (Icelandic for exhausted) are an up and coming black metal outfit hailing from Reykjavík, Iceland. The 5 piece are new comers to the scene having only put out one prior single in July of 2018.

But now in early 2019, Örmagna have released their debut album the self-titled "Örmagna". The first thing of note about this record is the gorgeous artwork designed by Maxime Amarum. The simplicity and dark rich blue colour palette of this cover instantly lets you know you're in for a cold and highly atmospheric experience, one that’s main focus is on its music rather than its imagery.

Now onto the music itself. The 7 track album starts off with a short but sweet instrumental piece that is absolutely swamped in reverb immediately setting the tone of the record. What follows for the next 6 songs is a barrage of dissonant and miserable sounding atmospheric riffs, gorgeously searing lead lines, complex but enjoyable drums including everyone’s favourite the blast beat and vocals that in a scene swarmed with the same pitch high screams are seriously unique sounding. Listening to the record I couldn't help but pay attention to what the vocals where doing. My ears where priorprioritising them over anything else. The only thing I could think of that comes close vocally would be a weird bastard child of Mgla and Bolzer.

Another thing to note is that the mixing and mastering on this album is fantastic, everything is pronounced and audible while still retaining that raw lo-fi aspect I've come to expect from black metal. Overall the record feels cold and full of melancholy which is a must for many fans of the genre and for myself.

The only thing that I found to be disappointing is the lack of intelligent bass playing throughout the record. Yes granted this is black metal and bass has never been an instrument of focus in the genre. But I would have liked something more thoughtful than the simplified following of the main riff but in a lower pitch that is actually heard on almost every song on the record.

Overall I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to this record and I'm very excited to see where the band goes next and what the next few years bring in store for them.

Standout tracks for me where: 'Háskinn Í Seljunum', 'Örmagna' and '3 Ár Í Dýflissu'.

1. Intro
2. Háskinn Í Seljunum
3. Náladoði
4. Örmagna
5. 3 Ár Í Dýflissu
6. Með Lögum Skal Land Brjóta
7. Dansar Saurs Og Saurlífis

Reviewer: Mark Long
Jan 22, 2019

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