When thinking of black metal, Scandinavian countries such as Norway are guaranteed to be mentioned. However one country that is usually overlooked is Iceland. Iceland is a country filled with black metal bands and metal bands in general such as (for example) Curse, Aten and of course Auđn. Auđn are an atmospheric black metal band who do not use keyboards in their music to create the atmospheric sound, but are able to use their guitars to do so, and this album is a perfect example.
The album itself is filled with dark and expressive melodies which are atmospheric yet heavy, a tone created with the drums. The vocals also add to the dark feel as they are raw sounding and powerful and yet fit within the melodies. A shining (yet dark) example is the first track “Klerkaveldi” which is a perfect example of heavy music meeting more of an atmospheric sound. The track also contains a lot of instrumentals (another theme that runs throughout the album) that are beautifully written an add to the mixed and appealing sound of the album.
The third track on the album, “Sífreri”, follows many of the themes that run throughout the whole work, but this track stands out for me for its fast guitar riffs and hard-hitting drums which give way to one hell of a catchy melody. The vocals here are still dark and heavy sounding which adds an evil counterpoint to the melodies in a beautifully executed way. The track has many guitar solos that are softer which, again add a more gentle atmosphere to the track. With the addition of dark and heavy drums, the energy from this powers the track through.
Leading on from “Sífreri” the rest of the album is filled with different melodies, some dark and others not as dark mixed with heavy drumming to create catchy yet explosive music. The vocals carry on through the album being harsh and and catchy, again bringing the darkness out of the album. “Þjáning Heillar Þjóðar”, the sixth track on the album, is a brilliant example of a song that is explosive and catchy. A track where soft melodies are repeated throughout to really bring the atmospheric overtone out, but with the involvement of the faster, heavier and darker riffs, just make this a masterpiece of a song on the album.
The album is written in such a way that it becomes both unique, catchy and dark – an amazing piece of art. To end it all, the bonus track on the album is a live recording of “Sífreri” recorded at Eistnaflug festival back in 2015. A brilliant recording of the song and a perfect end to a perfect album.
Auđn is out now and you can buy it on Bandcamp