Solefald “Norrøn Livskunst” (2010)

The wait is over – SOLEFALD have, after four years of silence finally released their latest effort “Norrøn Livskunst”. One year ago, when I conducted the interview with Cornelius, he announced the album as the perfect blend of all SOLEFALD-releases so far and his favourite SOLEFALD-album, and after several spins of the disk I completely agree. “Norrøn Livskunst” has everything – the crazyness of “Neonism”, the rawness of “The Linear Scaffold”, The magnificence of the “Islandic Odyssee” two-piece, the sharp edge of “Pills against the ageless Ills” and the intelligence of “In Harmonia Universalis”. All this without copying themselves, as they never have.

The opener “Song Til Stormen” puts the listener in the right mood: SOLEFALD are back. Probably the least surprising song, but after that, SOLEFALD set out to destroy every expectation one might have had for the album, which is what you expect with SOLEFALD anyway I guess. “Norrøn Livskunst” fires away in a Black-Metal-inferno on a, for the band, seldom before heard aggression level (and if you look for the spirit of STURMGEIST, here it is). “Stridsljod (Blackabilly)” makes you wanna dance in some dark, crowded and dirty pub (with the occasional drunken-falling-into-tables-frenzy), while “Eukalyptustreet” puts you alone in the same pub, with the chairs upturned and everyone gone, lights out. One of the longest songs, by the way, and with an epic and beautyful ending that makes your eye water. Then there is “Tittentattenteksti” which is just, and if I may cite a colleague here, “completely bonkers”. On that, Agnete Kjølsrud (the very same enriching “Gateways” of DIMMU BORGIR’s lates effort) sounds like an angry japanese schoolgirl while singing… well… probably one of the craziest lyrics (?) ever. Compared to that, “Neonism” looks completely sane. And you know what? It’s great – because if there is anything defining this new SOLEFALD album, it’s the spirit of two guys having FUN at what they do, and giving a shit about outside opinions or salability. It feels as avantgarde as fuck, it feels as if SOLEFALD – after seven albums, mind you – still have fun at breaking borders and aiming for things they have not done before. Or anyone else.

Most important: It never feels constructed or planned. After those long years in the business, most other bands would have played it “safe” and recorded an album which would please fans and press alike. SOLEFALD on the other hand haven’t lose their bite, on the contrary – “Norrøn Livskunst” is a daring, crazy, fresh and enthusiastic album. An album from a band with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Each song offers it’s own musical cosmos while composing an overall harmony, what more can you ask for? I am glad to hear (and it oozes from every note) that SOLEFALD still fuck with structures and expectations. In an age where forced conformity in metal and mainstream business mechanisms spawns bands bands like SONIC SYNDICATE and what they all are called, I for one want to be the more challenged by the music I listen to (and bands challenging themselves even harder!). For everyone thinking the same way there is no way around “Norrøn Livskunst”. A definite must-buy and serious top-album-of-the-year-contender!

-Tentakel P.


Release:  2010
Label:  Indie Recordings
Avantgenre:  Completely Bonkers Metal
Duration:  54:01
Origin:  Norway
Official site:
Review online since:  01.12.2010 / 20:50:59


01 – Song Til Stormen
02 – Norrøn Livskunst
03 – Tittentattenteksti
04 – Stridsljod (Blackabilly)
05 – Eukalyptustreet
06 – Raudedauden
07 – Vitets Vidd I Verdi
08 – Haugferdi
09 – Waves Over Vallhalla (An Icelandic Odyssey, Part 3)
10 – Til Heimen Yver Havet

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