Jun 292018
 

 

(Andy Synn delivers a SYNN REPORT for the month of June, focusing on the discography of the Icelandic band Kontinuum — including their new album, set for release next week.)

Recommended for fans of: Sólstafir, Foscor, Katatonia

It may surprise you to learn (or it may not) that there’s no strict plan or grand design which guides the production of The Synn Report each month. Each entry is largely dependent on my own ever-shifting whims, and, at this point, there are some bands who I’ve been meaning to write about ever since the column started but who, for various reasons, have kept getting pushed back and postponed. Still, I’m sure I’ll get to them eventually…

Every now and then though there’s a certain amount of method to my madness, in that I’ll sometimes try and line up a new entry to coincide with the release of a band’s new album, so that I can mix and match the review and retrospective formats into one (hopefully) cohesive whole.

Such is the case with today’s edition, as Icelandic post-progsters Kontinuum are set to release their third album, No Need to Reason, next Friday, meaning that now seemed like the perfect time to introduce you all to their intricate, atmospheric blend of brooding swagger and moody melancholy. Continue reading »

Oct 212014
 

I really, really, really want to go to Eistnaflug, and not simply because I can then say I’ve been to a festival named “flying testicles”. I’ve wanted to visit Iceland for a long time, and I’m wanting to visit even more now that the festival organizers have announced the three newest additions to the line-up:

Behemoth
Kontinuum
Sinmara

This brings the number of confirmed bands to 15, and the lineup just keeps getting better and better. Continue reading »

Aug 272014
 


Eistnaflug revelers.

(Gemma Alexander is a Seattle-based writer and NCS fan who visited Iceland in the fall of 2012 during the Iceland Airwaves festival and was generous enough to send us interviews with such bands as AngistBeneathKontinuumSólstafirGone Postal, and Skálmöld. In July of this year she returned to Iceland for the Eistnaflug metal and rock festival (“Eistnaflug” being Icelandic for “flying testicles”), and we are once again the beneficiary of her writing. Today we present Part 2 of a three-part report on the festival, illustrated with Gemma’s own photos. Visit her own excellent blog here and check out more of her reporting on the festival at KEXP’s web site. Part 1 of her report for us is here and Part 2 is here.)

 

For the few of us who bothered with the hours before – or even slightly after – noon on Saturday, the desperate drunkenness of Friday night had given way to a comfortable morning buzz. Fewer than two dozen made it to the first show of the day at 1 p.m., AMFJ.

Which was too bad. Aðalstein Motherfucking Jörundsson is one barefoot guy at a little table in the middle of the floor. There wasn’t much to see, but there was a lot to hear. The set started out doomy and moved into a rave-worthy beat supporting vocals distorted beyond recognition. It was some killer industrial noise.

https://amfj1.bandcamp.com/ Continue reading »

Jul 042013
 

Happy Fourth of July to all you U.S. denizens. I don’t really go in for flag-waving hoo-hah, but this will nevertheless be the only NCS post for Independence Day (so it will be a jumbo round-up). My wife and I will be entertaining some special visitors from the other side of our Great Land this afternoon, and then tonight we’ll be mourning one of the members of the intrepid NCS aeronaut pigeon squadron, who deliver most of our metal news to us.

They got confused and delivered some of the items you’ll be hearing today to one of our neighbors, and after he heard what it was, he opened fire, mortally wounding one of those brave flyers. She will live in our hearts forever. We’re planning a simple grave-side ceremony, followed by ritual execution of one of the neighbor’s kids. I suggested we just put out an eye, but half measures weren’t acceptable to the other aeronauts. And really, who can blame them?

It’s a stirring sight to witness a small screaming child dropped into a pit of spikes from 100 feet by pigeons flying in the Missing Man formation, and painted in the death markings of their race with a mixture of pigeon shit and ditch water.  Better than fireworks.

KONTINUUM

What better way to begin celebrating the Birth Of Our Nation than with some Icelandic metal? Yes, I know it’s a cliched thing to do on the 4th, but I’m old-fashioned at heart. Continue reading »

Nov 272012
 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Seattle-based writer and NCS reader Gemma Alexander recently journeyed to Iceland in late October to see the country, and she timed her visit to coincide with the Iceland Airwaves festival, which included over 420 bands playing all over Reykjavík for five days, plus 400 more unofficial, off-venue performances.

While in Iceland, Gemma generously arranged to conduct interviews of some Icelandic bands for NCS. So far, we’ve published  her interview of Angist and her interview of Beneath. Today we’re giving you part of Gemma’s fascinating interview of Kontinuum’s Birgir Thorgeirsson. It’s the metal part of the interview. Given the nature of Kontinuum’s music, there were “less metal” parts as well, and you’ll be able to find those at another blog for which Gemma writes regularly, Three Imaginary Girls, by following this link.

To hear Kontinuum’s well-received debut album Earth Blood Magic, you can stream it in full via the player located at the end of this interview. The album can be purchased from Amazon as an import, or preordered directly from Candlelight. Kontinuum is on Facebook here.

And if you haven’t yet checked out Gemma’s beautifully written blog about her entire Icelandic vacation, do yourself a favor and do that via this link. And now, here’s Gemma’s interview, preceded by her own introduction:

********

Birgir Thorgeirsson may be familiar to the tr00 and cvlt from his work in Potentiam, one of the first black metal bands in Iceland, and one of the few to ever release albums internationally. After a stint abroad, Birgir is back with a new project, Kontinuum. They are the first Icelandic band to sign with Candlelight, which will release their debut album Earth Blood Magic in North America on January 8th, 2013.

This one comes with a warning: it’s an Exception to the Rule – the NCS rule, and most other rules you can think of. Mostly clean vocals lean to the gothic. The music, too, is right on the edge of NCS territory, extreme primarily in its disregard for conventional genre boundaries. Like other notable Icelandic bands, Kontinuum are doing whatever the fuck they want with their music, without particularly giving a rat’s ass what anyone thinks about it. If you use spellings like tr00 and cvlt, as Angist’s Halli tells people when they discover that he’s in a band, “You’re not gonna like it.” Continue reading »