Misþyrming is from Iceland so comparisons with Svartidauði and Sinmara are as inevitable as they are exhausting. Somewhere along the way, people seem to forget that it doesn’t matter how ‘Söngvar Elds Og Óreiðu’ measures up against either ‘Flesh Cathedral’ or ‘Aphotic Womb’ or ‘Biophilia’ because this is a fucking different band.
The blinkered fixation of Black Metal fans with the geographical origins of an artist is surely unique to this genre and I have to admit I’m largely guilty of it myself (in that I’d be much more likely to check out a horde from, say, Portugal, than, let’s say for argument’s sake, Egypt) … but it can be taken to extreme lengths.
Why immediately compare Misþyrming to their compatriots instead of just listening to the music and judging it on its own merits? (Not that everybody does, of course. And not that there is anything necessarily wrong with doing so, either; it is just too obvious; Black Metal from Iceland needs / deserves to be compared with all Black Metal – from everywhere.)
For what it’s worth, ‘Söngvar Elds Og Óreiðu’ is a stunning debut full-length – 43 minutes of confident, powerful, raw and sinister abuse – by any standards, which compares favourably to just about any other Black Metal band from anywhere. Which probably goes to explain why the first press of 500 copies of the record have practically sold out already. To my ears, it sounds like a slightly more ambitious and experimental Mgła.
There’ll be a second run of these this summer, I’d willingly wager. Magnificent.