Winning Músíktilraunir has served as the launching point for a number of outstanding performers. Mammút (2004), Agent Fresco (2008), Vök (2013) and a little folk ensemble you may have heard of called Of Monsters and Men (2010) are all prior winners who have gone on to give us some brilliant music. In 2019, it was a young metal trio that took top honours and found itself poised on the precipice of success. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the coming of Blóðmör.
In June 2019, Blóðmör released their EP entitled Líkþorn, marking a return to metal’s roots. This EP consists of five songs of raw metal ore mined from deep within the earth, unrefined and unpolished, yet full of limitless promise. The riffs forced me to dust off my air guitar because you can’t sit still whilst listening to Líkþorn and these riffs beg to be imitated. The music demands movement and makes me wish I still had long hair so I could headbang more effectively. These are the kinds of songs that will result in speeding tickets if you play them in your car, and Líkþorn is the metal word made real.
Sonically metal but more punk in length, each of Líkþorn’s five songs takes a different approach, with the one common element being the solid, straight-up guitar riffs powering them along. From the triumphant title track to the doom-ish ‘Skuggalegir Menn’, we hear a band that clearly learned from their influences, but escaped the trap of becoming mere mirrors of their idols, breaking them down and re-combining the elements in a style that is distinctly their own. Hell, just listen to ‘Klósettið’ opening with a funk bassline and maintaining that funkiness until it takes the song to a sharp left turn back into pounding metal during the last half minute. There’s no formula for that; that’s just doing what feels right.
We’re also treated to some Icelandic metal royalty on ‘Frumskógurinn’, with none other than the legendary Óttarr Proppé of HAM making a guest vocal appearance. As a huge fan of these metal legends, Blóðmör guitarist and vocalist Haukur Þór Valdimarsson told me it was like a dream come true to have Proppé in the studio with them. Given that Haukur’s vocal style has similarities to that of Proppé, the pairing works perfectly.
Will Blóðmör find the same success as many of their Músíktilraunir-winning predecessors? Only time will tell. However, if Líkþorn is any indication, we should have some highly enjoyable metal albums to look forward to in the near future.
Words by Jeff Obermeyer
Blóðmör – Líkþorn
3. Skuggalegir menn