Sólstafir - Endless Twilight Of Codependent Love review



Reviewer:
7.0

87 users:
7.44
Band: Sólstafir
Album: Endless Twilight Of Codependent Love
Release date: November 2020


01. Akkeri
02. Drýsill
03. Rökkur
04. Her Fall From Grace
05. Dionysus
06. Til Moldar
07. Alda Syndanna
08. Or
09. Úlfur
10. Hrollkalda Þoka Einmanaleikans [bonus]
11. Hann For Sjalfur [bonus]


Another Sólstafir album, another pleasant but forgettable experience.

After starting off as a black metal group, Icelandic outfit Sólstafir shifted in the mid-2000s towards a more post-rock-oriented sound, with 2014's Ótta widely held as their most triumphant effort so far. Sólstafir have developed a sound that is distinctly their own over the years, drawing influences from different forms of rock to generate something with a slight hint of melancholy but not much in the way of bleakness. I've found their sound reliably pleasant in the past; however, for me, Sólstafir are a group that seldom rise above mild enjoyment, and Endless Twilight Of Codependent Love does little to change that.

For my money, Endless Twilight Of Codependent Love is bookended by its strongest tracks. "Akkeri", "Drýsill" and "Úlfur" could all perhaps benefit from a bit of trimming, but they contain a lot of the album's strongest moments, whether it's gradual, evocative build-up in the second half of "Akkeri", the triumphant, dense, atmospheric percussion during the closing minutes of "Drýsill" or the desert rock-inspired riffs in "Úlfur". Desert rock is one influence found on Endless Twilight Of Codependent Love; others include the blues guitar leads and rhythms on "Ör" and the alt rock of "Alda Syndanna", as well as the throwbacks to the band's black metal days on "Akkeri" and "Dionysus". With the dynamics and tremolo of their post-rock base added to all that, Endless Twilight Of Codependent Love is at the very least varied.

However, whilst I find the album to be varied and to feature a good number of enjoyable moments (I like the blues leads of "Ör" and the heavy post-rock parts of "Dionysus" in particular), I must confess that as a complete package, Endless Twilight Of Codependent Love has a tendency to become a bit dull. The length of the first two tracks is a bit much, but at least they feature good content to make them broadly positive listening experiences; the two songs that follow them, however, are far more muted, removing a lot of the possibility for excitement, without really delivering anything emotionally stirring to compensate, making "Rökkur" and "Her Fall From Grace" something of a slog to get through on playthroughs before "Dionysus" injects a bit of energy. These songs aren't helped by what has often been a major obstacle to me fully enjoying Sólstafir, Aðalbjörn Tryggvason's vocals. I don't dislike his voice just by its tone (the awkward vocal melodies and occasional bum notes are usually bigger issues), but whilst it works okay in livelier situations (such as when he hits max volume on "Dionysus"), for tracks that are supposed to be low-key and moving, such as the two I mentioned earlier, it's just not suited to conveying the relevant emotion, meaning that songs such as these tend to fall flat. I find that his singing doesn't always benefit the heavier songs either, with many of the vocal choices on "Alda Syndanna" not particularly jiving with me.

Ultimately, Endless Twilight Of Codependent Love is a perfectly decent album, but I would have to rank it below both Ótta and Berdreyminn; there's plenty to like here, but little to love, and a few things here detract from the experience (overly long soft tracks and questionable vocal parts in particular). Having now heard both albums, this will be the second time in a row that ex-drummer Guðmundur Óli Pálmason's current project Katla. release an album in the same year as Sólstafir that is clearly the superior of the two (at least to me), suggesting that Pálmason may have come out rather well from the split.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 8
Production: 8


 



Written on 08.11.2020 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 98 users
09.11.2020 - 09:04
Enemy of Reality
The first song drags so much that it almost turns me off from listening the rest of the album. Then we have tracks 2 and 3 with awesome intros, some cool melancholic melodies here and there, but both songs don't go anywhere. This could be said about almost every song of the album. There are cool ideas throughout the thing, but sometimes it feels like they mix and experiment for the sake of being "exotic" and the album ends up being this riffs-mashing which barely resembles any cohesiveness. I know a lot of people enjoy this "weirdness", but i must say Arcturus and Thy Catafalque do this weirdness thing much much better.
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09.11.2020 - 12:25
Charlotbk
I really not dig the new Solstafir album except for the song Dionysus , maybe with more listen ....and Rökkur I think for me is one of the worst song I listen to , really not dig it .
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09.11.2020 - 13:03
musclassia
Written by Charlotbk on 09.11.2020 at 12:25

I really not dig the new Solstafir album except for the song Dionysus , maybe with more listen ....and Rökkur I think for me is one of the worst song I listen to , really not dig it .


Dionysus stands out due to its heaviness, but even though its one of the ones I enjoyed here, even then I don't think they delivered it to a really great leve. And I agree that Rokkur is probably the weakest one here, it really drags on
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09.11.2020 - 13:16
Charlotbk
And I really don't understand people give it 10/10 but this is just my own opinion , just really sad I was expecting a good album with this crappy 2020 years .
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09.11.2020 - 14:14
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I like all to Ótta even it was good, but ....
To me this album si a bit 15 minutes to long.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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10.11.2020 - 01:06
nikarg
Mod
I really like the album, I find it very atmospheric. Bizarrely, "Dionysus" is the only song I don't enjoy as much, mainly because I feel it doesn't belong. I agree with you that the first two and the last track are the best ones.

I am also looking forward to the new Katla..
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