Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, April 13, 2020

Árstíðir lífsins - Saga á tveim tungum II: Eigi fjǫll né firðir

Árstíðir lífsins are without a doubt one of my favorite black metal bands going today. Using ancient instruments to craft thrilling soundscapes and singing in Old Icelandic they have across three decades told ancient Norse stories, pulling from Eddas and Skaldic poems. This latest offering, Saga á tveim tungum II: Eigi fjǫll né firðir is one of the groups most ambitious records to date, an all encompassing and powerful release that sees the band further developing on the story started in 2019's Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr.

This isn't just another folksy black metal record. The use of traditional instruments sees to that. But beyond that, Saga á tveim tungum II: Eigi fjǫll né firðir is a concept album that darts from peak to peak. It tells an epic story and hints at battles fought long ago. This is a record that continually pushes the listener to delve deeper into what has been laid out here and provides a window onto a rich history. Though this is certainly a dense listen, it is a rewarding one. Yes there is a time investment here, the record weighs in at nearly 75 minutes, but that's part of what makes it so valuable, that you can really sink your teeth into it time and time again.

Saga á tveim tungum II: Eigi fjǫll né firðir is a black metal fans black metal record. It's intense. It's deep and it showcases some of the bands best songwriting to date. The triumphant use of ancient instruments is perfectly counterbalanced with a thrilling story and truly thoughtful production. There is a lot to unpack here in any given moment, but the more time I spend delving into the glorious world they have portrayed the more I love it. Once again Árstíðir lífsins prove they are in a league of their own.

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