KATLA have unleashed a curse in the shape of a video clip for the song ‘Sálarsvefn‘, which is taken from the Icelanders’ forthcoming second full-length “Allt þetta helvítis myrkur“, which has been scheduled for release on November 13th. Album details can be found below.
The video for ‘Sálarsvefn‘ exclusively premiered via the official media partner Metal Hammer but can be found below also:
With the clip ‘Sálarsvefn‘, KATLA have managed the unlikely feat of turning their sinister album “Allt þetta helvítis myrkur” even darker. The clip shows a modern rendering of an ancient Norse curse named in Old Icelandic “níðstöng” (English: “nithing pole”), which is described in the 13th century saga of Egill Skallagrímsson. “Egills saga” describes how the celebtrated poet (skald) and ruthless Viking erects a pole with the severed head of a horse on top and curses king Erik Haraldsson called “Bloodaxe” as well as his queen. Players of the popular video game “The Witcher 3” might have encountered this ritual in a side quest entitled “The Nithing”.
KATLA comment on the single: “The title ‘Sálarsvefn’ translates as ‘Sleep of the Soul’ and my lyrics venture into the darkest corners of the mind of an anonymous human being”, writes Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson. “This song is about pure hate and loathing. Whoever shows such a person any sign of sympathy or compassion will certainly be dragged into this creature’s insane world of misery. ‘Sálarsvefn’ was originally the third segment of a long track in three parts. Its first part was ‘Villuljós’, which we have presented already. Yet as recording progressed, I ended up tying 5 songs together into one hell of a complicated mix, in which ‘Sálarsvefn’ is now the 4th stage of this journey into dark soundscapes.”
Guðmundsson Óli Pálmason adds a few words about the making of this fantastic clip: “We have created this video with a tremendous effort in both cost and labour”, claims the drummer – necessitating a trigger warning about dry Icelandic humour. “We had to buy four footlong sandwiches for our crew and I finished the rough editing on the same night that we filmed the clip.” Amazing.
1. Ást orðum ofar
3. Líkfundur á Sólheimasandi
8. Allt þetta helvítis myrkur
The infamous Icelandic low is defined as a large and persistent atmospheric low-pressure centre that forms between Iceland and Greenland and is often the cause of strong winter winds over the North Atlantic. KATLA artistically translate this meteorological depression into dark doom-infused metal and deep musical emotion. An urgent sense of darkness and inner turmoil drives “Allt þetta helvítis myrkur” (“All this damn darkness”), the second full-length of the Icelandic duo. The soul crushing heaviness fueling this record makes KATLA‘s melancholic debut album “Móðurástin” appear nearly light-hearted by comparison. Some of this album’s core composition reach back in time for more than a decade and were born out of spontaneous rehearsal room-sessions that were only now given final shape. The result is a cinematic musical stream of consciousness, in which many of the songs intertwine and flow into each other.
KATLA are the conceptual and musical brainchild of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson (FORTÍÐ, POTENTIAM) and former SÓLSTAFIR-drummer and visual artist Guðmundsson Óli Pálmason. The duo deliberately took their name from one of the most active and feared Icelandic volcanoes to manifest that the external part of their inspiration relates to the islands ever-changing landscapes and subpolar climate. “The outer landscapes are as important to us as the inner darkness”, tells Einar. “KATLA are as much a product of our environment as derived from our state of mind.”
KATLA take their art very personally even beyond musical aspects. Cover art, photography, and the handwritten booklet – everything about “Allt þetta helvítis myrkur” has either been created by the duo or by their relatives and close friends. “We like to keep things in the family”, Guðmundur Óli points out. “Everything is homemade yet up to our high standards.” This DIY-approach also applies to production as Einar was responsible for all recordings, mix, master, and cello-samples. The result proves the Icelanders right: “Allt þetta helvítis myrkur” is an emotional tour de force – cinematic, dark, heavily emotional, and utterly mesmerizing.
Album release date: November 13th