In extreme metal circles these days, when one thinks of Iceland one thinks of black metal. Draugsól was one of many Icelandic black metal bands who proved their worth, with a fine 2017 debut album named Volaða land (we learned more about the band and that album in a 2017 NCS interview). Subsequently, two of Draugsól’s three members (guitarist/bassist/vocalist Maximilian Klimko and drummer Kjartan Harðarson) chose to forge ahead under a new name — Kaleikr — and their first album Heart of Lead will be released on February 15th by Debemur Morti Productions.
The album is described as “a journey from sadness through despair to total mental collapse”. In mid-December DMP released a song from the album named “The Descent“, one of three tracks on the record that includes a guest performance by Árni Bergur Zoëga on viola. It appears second in the running order, following the opener “Beheld At Sunrise”, in which the viola also figures prominently before the album’s musical descent begins.
Through each successive track, the journey becomes more strange, dark, and unnerving as Kaleikr draw upon an array of stylistic tools as they see fit to portray their narrative in sound, without being constrained by the conventions of any one genre. Where the album begins at sunrise, it ends in perpetual sunset, with the record’s seventh track. But before reaching that striking culmination, the music surges to an apotheosis of intensity in the song we’re helping premiere today — “Neurodelirium“.