For someone who doesn’t listen to a lot of black metal, I sure seem to buy a lot of the black metal coming out of Iceland.
One of the newest entrants to the scene is Örmagna, a five-piece that has connections to some of the recent greats in Icelandic black metal, including Naðra vocalist Ö handling the vocals and Misþyrming‘s D.G. helping with the mastering. Similarities, however, pretty much end there.
Örmagna opens with a brief, distant-sounding and slow instrumental, which initially made me nervous about the sound quality. Those fears were immediately put to rest when “Háskinn í Seljunum” kicked in and it started to become clear what Örmagna had in store for my ears and my soul, the weight and density taking on an oppressive character and suffocating all hope. The disconnect between the super-fast black metal drumming and the doom-ish guitars and bass on “Náladoði” offer striking contrasts in both speed and mass, with each side battling for supremacy within the confines of the song, a contrast that shouldn’t work but yet does.
Örmagna is available for listening on Bandcamp HERE. For the vinyl you’ll need to go to the Signal Rex website to order. The good news is it’s only €15. The bad news is they only pressed 250 copies of this bad boy, so you’d better get it while you can.