I thought my head was going to explode with the very first bone-crushing, thick, distorted, nine-string guitar riff, immediately followed by one of the most bloodcurdling metal growls ever heard, so brutal I thought a demon would… Wait, that’s not right. Oh! Ásgeir! Right! Sorry.
Ásgeir’s newest release, Bury the Moon, is a modern electronic/acoustic classic, overlapping with imagination, sou and soundscapes and immersed in the nature sounds of Iceland, his home country.
I was already looking forward to this album after hearing his early, solid singles, such as ‘Pictures’; the nature-infused, lyrical, storytelling ‘Youth’ (which is accompanied by a great music video); and the thick bass, imagination-tickling ‘Lazy Giants’. I found myself pleasantly surprised with the entire work!
After digging into the songs between the singles, I found that Ásgeir had created a well-constructed and powerful work of art. It took no time at all to find the great songs outside of the singles that people connect with. First, I came across the darting ambient swells of ‘Breathe’, then ‘Rattled Snow’ with its string section, deep piano and vintage synth intro, which immediately grab you and keep you wrapped up. The most surprising song to me was the soulful ‘Until Daybreak’. With its classic soul structure, it was a complete change of pace, and the song stands out amongst the rest of the album in a great way. The last composition, the title track ‘Bury the Moon’, starts off with horns that evoke dark/noir jazz, reminiscent of David Bowie’s Black Star. It’s industrial guitar derivative, with a faster-paced beat and a darker artistic soul than the rest of the album, and it left me wanting to hear more!
For people who are fans of Ásgeir’s more acoustic, folk-sounding songs, ‘Eventide’ will be the go-to composition for you. For me, ‘Overlay’, ‘Turn Gold to Sand’ and ‘Living Water’ are good tunes in their own right, but surrounded by all these other great songs, these feel a little lacklustre. But it would be hard for any song to stand up to pieces like ‘Youth’, ‘Rattled Snow’ and ‘Bury the Moon’.
Ásgeir has also just released an amazing live video performance of ‘Vaðandi þurrt’ as the first instalment of his ‘Is Anyone Listening’ video series. I am very much looking forward to seeing the rest of his instalments, as well as getting to see him live in March. All around, I give Bury the Moon, four Erics out of a possible five.
Words by Eric Williams
Ásgeir – Bury The Moon
5. Lazy Giants
7. Rattled Snow
8. Turn Gold To Sand
9. Living Water
10. Until Daybreak
11. Bury The Moon