Almyrkvi – Umbra [Iceland, Black] (2017)


Ván Records | 11-24-17

For the sake of brevity, I decided to just put “black” as the genre as a full explanation would be too long for the post. It only takes a couple of minutes into the opener “Vaporous Flame” to realize that Almyrkvi’s debut operates on a different level than most atmospheric black metal as well as what has become known as Icelandic black metal. With no real place to stand, this act seems content in gazing up at the stars or most specifically the void between stars.

In a market that is flooded with atmospheric clones with similar album art, the direction in which Almyrkvi travels is refreshing. This is atmospheric black in the sense it starts out as the genre infused with walls and corridors of sound. With a tone that is similar to post metal and vocals which edge on the border of death/doom and progressive metal, Umbra’s success is mainly defined by the amount of ground it covers without becoming unmanageable.

The tempo and pace at which Umbra travels is slower than most black metal. There is not instances of fast action or explosive speed. The fury which exists inside these songs burns at a slower rate with equal temperature. Similar to the subject matter, Umbra sound mimics what I would imagine a collapsing star would sound sound like if space allowed acoustics. Actually this record is pushing me to watch sound recordings from black holes noise wand the recordings of noise the deepest voids. Thanks Almyrkvi.