Named after a majestic active volcano Icelandic duo Katla, featuring ex-Sólstafir drummer and visual artist Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and singer/multi-instrumentalist Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson, has released the stunning debut album “Móðurástin” packed with a remarkable taste for poetry and fascinating darkly atmospheric soundscapes.
Starting with delicate arpeggios “Hyldýpi” belongs to a realm of enchanting darkness as the whole instrumentation gradually acquires heavier dynamics with thick guitars and drums yet maintains a surreal atmospheric quality smoothly entwined with somber passionate vocals.
With significant instrumental clarity “Hvila” features a refined blend of cathartic guitar melodies and classical atmospheric arrangements yet some sophisticated dark metal nuances tend to dominate the song’s structure with vibrant distortions and sharp rhythmic patterns without sacrificing the ethereal inner poetry.
In the beginning “Hreggur” feels rather contemplative with a minimalist sonic approach reminiscent of modern post-rock dynamics that favors slow paced melodies while impeccable poignant vocals gently flow through bewitching atmospheric layers but guitars will eventually acquire a primordial obscure energy with absolutely fierce heavier & faster rhythms.
The title track evokes subtle majestic winter flavors and gains a noticeable primal monolithic force delivering a fair dosage of blackened intensity with tight frenetic rhythmic dynamics skillfully built by obscure guitar riffs and borderline enraged vocals but also features kaleidoscopic glimpses of an immensely darkened scenario.
With understated creative sparks “Dulsmál” is the darkest opus on this album featuring intricate sonic diversity as the band eagerly explores multifaceted music territories. The dramatic tonalities and the enigmatic solemn beginning introduce a particularly epic series of complex guitar driven rhythmic sections with enticing experimental accents while cinematic dense atmospheric layers contribute to the creation of a gloomy sonic palette further enriched by exquisitely darkened melancholic guitar passages.
It could be because of the long dark winters or the summer’s midnight sun, nevertheless the marvelous bands hailing from Iceland are a force to be reckoned with and listening to “Móðurástin” it becomes clear that Katla is on the right pathway to earn a solid status in the current metal scene.