Goddamn it. This would have gone perfectly with the mysterious crop of Icelandic black metal bands that suddenly appeared in the fields of 2014. Sinmara, Naðr, 〇, and Svartidauði were all dazzling and varying black metal projects which were as surprising as they were consistent. Mannveira’s Von Er Eiturwas released earlier in the year but after framing it within the context of other Icelandic black seems to fall in line and make much more sense.
Compared to other bands previously reviewed, Mannveira has a much more raw edge to it. Though there are wanderings guitar leads and a leaning hypnotic atmosphere, the bulk of Von Er Eitur is focused on ruin and destruction. The vocals from one man creator, Illugi Kristinsson, are near inhuman with dungeon cries and shrieks from a cavernous it. Black metal is never the most intelligible of metal styles but Mannveira seems so much more removed from reality as if caught behind a wall or stone floor. This makes songs like “Eðjan” so much more effective as if the detachment from reality feels woven within the song. Von Er Eitur is a harsh exploration of spaces not of this world.
It is easy to get excited for a group or a collection of bands that may or may not have anything to with each other. Iceland is such a small country with a low populaition whoese metal to person ratio seems to increasing exponentially. Regardless of any larger development, Von Er Eitur is a fantastic debut from a project which seems to have the future or a subterrenaen hell in front of them. I look forward to being incredibly bummed out at a future date.