Sólstafir, Myrkur, Árstíðir
Dec 12, 2017, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, Denmark
Sometimes there’s a chance to mix business with pleasure, although in this case it is difficult to define the “business” part… Plain facts, this package as a whole did not visit Helsinki on their European tour, and I’ve always planned to go to Copenhagen for sightseeing, hence my decision to travel on the particular weekend when Icelandic and Danish magic happens at the famous Pumpehuset. As sun sets around afternoon already which makes the exploration of unknown territory even more challenging, I preferred to find out how to get there and what the club looks like in daylight – and got extremely lucky to witness the arrival of the bands ….
As I am not quite the “need to have selfie with the band members” person, I preferred to come back for the more interesting part a bit later in this sold out club on this December Monday. First on Árstíðir who have been on my “must-see-live” list for a long time but for some reason it never worked out. Therefore finally – and wow, what can I say… The band not only fulfilled my high expectations but exceeded them – beautiful, captivating, a band that makes you believe in Fairies, right there, right now.
A part of their – way too short – set was supported by Sólstafir drummer Hallgrímur Jón “Grimsi” Hallgrímsson and they granted their Danish audience the honour of listening to 2 brand new songs. As – so they claimed – it is the first time they actually play to a Danish audience, their last gig in Copenhagen 2010 happened in a local Icelandic cafe in front of a purely Icelandic crowd… But they talked about a more serious topic as well, reminding us to talk to people who seem afflicted by the darkness of the heart – as this might be their only hope or help …
The question whether Myrkur is popular in their home country was answered quickly – suddenly it was so tightly packed in front of the stage that people with cameras and smaller than 1,80m had difficulties to capture anything (the downside when there’s no photo pit in the club). My apologies to those who felt being stepped on their toes / pushed aside (literally) – but at some point I was desperate… And it is indeed not easy to capture an image of this multi-talented multi-faceted queen of Extreme Metal. Goddess, High Priestess, Shaman, princess, demon – clad all in white, seeming vulnerable and delivering the most delicate of tender vocals, just to smash your brain with growls and brutal riffs later. AWESOME. Intense, magical, mind-blowing – feeling more like a ritual than a gig, you’re hypnotized and cannot help but worship this seemingly other-wordly performer. One of those “must-see” acts, and I recommend to check out her latest album “Mareridt”.
And well, no need to say that the enthusiasm even increased when the headliners entered the stage. Icelandic magic part 2 – and no matter how often you have seen Sólstafir live (and my first time was at a legendary Spinefeast), there will be at least one gooseflesh moment … just the vocal style of Aðalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason has the quality to stay in mind, not to mention some of their catchy choruses (I still have one of those echoing in my head). Therefore I probably do not need to praise their live-qualities once again when performing a best-of setlist that did not leave anything to wish for. Well, maybe just the fact it still felt like “hey they just started, whaaat – cannotbe – gig is over now????” Beautiful tunes, raw energy, intense and emotional vocal, immediate transfer to a parallel universe where magic is real and elves play Rock’n’Roll. Was the trip to Copenhagen worth it? Hell yeah it was!
More images here photos: K. Weber