Sólstafir

Sólstafir

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An Icelandic post-metal outfit with roots in progressive, black, and Viking metal, Sólstafir emerged in the early aughts with a sound steeped in the icy depths of traditional black metal. They adopted a more atmosphere-driven post-metal style on their acclaimed sophomore effort, 2005's Masterpiece of Bitterness, and have continued in that vein with subsequent outings like Svartir Sandar (2011) and Endless Twilight of Codependent Love (2020). Sólstafir were founded in 1995 by longtime friends Aðalbjörn Tryggvason (guitar, vocals), Halldór Einarsson (bass), and Guðmundur Óli Pálmason (drums). After cutting a series of demos, Sólstafir scaled down to a duo (Tryggvason and Pálmason) and began work on their debut full-length. After recruiting Svavar Austmann to replace Einarsson, they set about laying down tracks for what would become Í Blóði og Anda. A series of setbacks (label woes, lineup changes) kept the LP from being released until 2002. By that time, Sólstafir were operating as a quartet with the addition of second guitarist Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson, who made his studio debut on the 2002 EP Black Death. In 2004, Sólstafir inked a deal with the Spinefarm imprint Spikefarm, which issued their sophomore long-player, Masterpiece of Bitterness, the following year. Arriving in 2009, Köld saw Sólstafir adding more post-metal atmospherics into their sound, an aesthetic they would further distill on subsequent outings like Svartir Sandar (2012), which landed the group their first big hit in "Fjara," and Ótta (2014), both of which were released via Season of Mist. Co-founder Pálmason left the group in 2015 and was replaced by Hallgrímur Jón Hallgrímsson. In 2017, the newly minted quartet issued their sixth full-length outing, Berdreyminn, which made a strong showing on the European charts. 2020's Endless Twilight of Codependent Love saw the group continue to blur the line between ambient post-rock and cavernous black Viking metal. ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi

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