Keeping a finger on the pulse

Kontinuum photo by Kuggur


in Live by

Finally, the countdown ended in the darkness of Gaukurinn that is a venue located in Reykjavík downtown. It was Friday night, June 12th, this time of year when Iceland is still sunny even after midnight. The day of musical fireworks has come so with an elevated level of excitement and armed with a beer I was ready for the show that would proudly start my weekend. Only bands like progressive post-metal Kontinuum and hardcore Muck know how to scratch me behind the ears effectively.

This year I was told by a person experienced on Icelandic music scene that Kontinuum is a band to watch. Indeed, they have played together since 2010 and recently released the second album entitled Kyrr. So the show began with the opener of the album that drifts between progressive post-metal and dreamwave. Breath made me feel immediately that Kyrr would fit perfectly into the mysterious drawer owned by my parents that was full of cassettes begging me (as a child) for further exploration. Blending elements of dreamwave, cold post-punk, doom metal and even gothic, this five piece band consisting of experienced musicians offers the power of three guitars covered with a deep voice of Birgir Thorgeirsson that enhances the impression of unreality of the surrounding and entering a hypnotic and kind of spiritualistic mood. Musically, melodic compositions are characterized by a variety of the elaborate layers and they prove that the closure within one genre is only for jellyfish but thanks to Kristján Einar Guðmundsson heavy rhythmic beauty of drums bursts without any warning. The emotionl and sincere music of Kontinuum transfixes and the songs chosen for the promo singles like Í Huldusal are catchy so after a few listenings you hear yourself humming them. Do you know that moment when during the last song of the show the sound sucks you out like a Dementor? Such hypnotizing finale performed by Kontinuum is called Steinrunninn Skógur.

After a small break the stage was taken over by young rebels in Muck. Their new album Your Joyous Future released by an American record label Prosthetic Records was one of my most highly anticipated albums of 2015. Stepping on stage and immediately turning into furious sonic monsters, they prove every single time how good they are at performing live. Pretty fast and huge sound of guitars and meaty bass lines will ring in your ears long after the show is done. As well as the rhythm section of the band, Karl Ställborn and Indriði Arnar Ingólfsson don´t even think about conserving energy for later, always ready to scream their lungs out almost devastatingly. You can simply feel that the chemistry between band members is great since the situation on the stage aggressively progresses in a way like there is no tomorrow. The new material is full of variety but it sounds more like a wholeness than songs from the debut album entitled Slaves. During the show the band provides brand new compositions with such highlights like Provoke me, My City or Waiting but they play also unreleased tracks like Yesterday and the final blast – Dracula. Just Muck in, huh?

MUCK- "My City" Official Music Video from Prosthetic Records on Vimeo.

Considering how big were my expectations I should have been surprised as I was indisputably satisfied right away. But, to be honest, I haven’t been surprised at all. Let’s call it a matter of faith and trust – they do know how to rock… and pulp listeners too. Even if the staff of the venue had this wonderful idea of cleaning in front of the stage in the middle of crazy gig (congrats) …

Kontinuum on Facebook
Kontinuum on Bandcamp
Muck on Facebook
About Muck in the living room
Friday the 13th with Oyama, Pink Street Boys and Muck

Stína has followed her passion to Icelandic music as a music journalist since 2010. She joined then a writing team of Muzyka Islandzka - a Polish website dedicated to Icelandic music. Spreading her wings, Stína started her adventure with Icelandic language and moved to Reykjavík where she studied the language at the university. She also takes an active part in life of the local music scene. Since 2014 Stína had run a music blog that was transformed in 2017 into a printed magazine on Icelandic music.

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