Reviews Seidr Ginnungagap

Seidr

Ginnungagap

Existing on the outer realms of the galaxies, where space and time collide, Seidr return with their sophomore release,Ginnungagap. Led by A. Lunn, also of AgnosisKolgaThrondt and most importantly of Panopticon, the band is here to build further upon the impact that their debut album, For Winter Fire, caused.

Even though the band is at its core a doom metal act, they masterfully employ the use of drone music, aiming for the creation of vast soundscapes, post-rock, in order for the music to include a sweeter tonality that will hook the listeners to its depths, and even some black metal moments to add some of that eerie and almost majestic aura to their essence. Noise influences, psychedelic effects and a rich background deriving from some electronic music input, all come in handy and make Ginnungagap what it is. Of course the main drive here is atmospheric doom, with the band paying very much attention in getting the dynamics of their track right in order to achieve maximum results. And so the trip towards the stars begins…

The mystical aura that surrounds “Blink of the Cosmic Eye” is almost tangible while the imposing ambiance prevails, as the towering sonic structures emerge filled with Seidr’s cosmic energy. A brilliant voice sample about the origin of the universe and that of God appear questioning your very beliefs before Seidr unleash their wrath, which is carefully and patiently built for the last eleven minutes. The drumming is absolutely brilliant, very innovative, surprising you with its fluent hits and sudden changes and with the expansive background rendering you speechless, while the unearthly voices are offering shelter from the ongoing storm. But the band is not that cruel, and Seidr still offers melody, with pure ear candy coming out of the guitars. 

Those same ethereal melodies are leading the way onwards, with “Pillars of Creation”, where they raise a dreamlike setting of inspiring awe. The full weight of the band is once more let loose upon you with the deep vocals making their appearance, being accompanied with effects that can be only described as resonances of infinity. The impressive background always present is still intriguing, even when the band takes on a more manic face before they resume their heavy doom sound, this time enriched even further by the inclusion of mournful, soul reaping leads which sole purpose is to haunt you. 

And then it is time to go out with all guns blazing, with the doom/death attitude in the beginning of the title track. Seidr unveil their most unforgiving self, leaving nothing in their way standing. The unworldly clean voices return to cause disorientation, causing you to lose all sense of reality while the band is continuing with the creation of drones with the tempo really slowing down. With a background as rich as the cloudless night sky they continue to explore the world of their own creation. Chaos seems to prevail with Seidr taking on various different forms to reach their goal in showing the full depth to which they can dive, before everything starts to evaporate into the minimalistic investigations of the band, fading away into the darkness and the unknown. 

“As You Return” is used as an interlude with sole purpose to soothe the shock of experiencing this album so far, and preparing you for the reminder of the journey. The mesmerizing guitar and the chants are making time seem fluid, while the spoken part with its effect is a highlight on its own right, are constantly causing the sonic landscapes of the band to expand exponentially with the sorrowful melodies becoming too much to handle. Cold nothingness is the only possible ending for the song and soon enough the howling winds take over, leaving you again alone in the mercy of Seidr as the red planet rises…

The hypnotizing quality of the next to last track of Ginnungagap is coming to light instantly. Of course it is then abruptly stopped by the doom/death essence of the band. In this instance it seems like the deep vocals and heavy guitars are set to tear the very fabric of nature with their relentless character as the track takes you further and further into the abyss. The drums are hitting hard and with certainty, putting the coffin nails in place while the vocals are continuing to spit malice along the way. But even then there is a glimmer of hope as the switch in ambiance is imminent and absolutely necessary. The destructive parts give way to the ethereal sounds, with a great drum performance coming out of nowhere. But again the way forward is not changing. Despair and hopelessness return to hover over the music while the melodic bits are trying to make the inhospitable environment a bit friendlier. Of course it only gets gloomier. And if at this point you are tired then hang on tight because after the last one you will not be the same. 

The twenty-six minute long closing track of the album, “Sweltering II: A Pale Blue Dot in the Vast Dark” is slowly taking over with the solitary riff at the intro. The psychedelic background is crafting the perfect environment for the heavy riffs to be unfolded in all their glory. The repetitive nature of the track is inescapable and slowly becomes almost addictive and enthralling to behold. As time progresses the sound becomes more aggressive and the slower parts leave a melancholic aftertaste that will bring you down to your knees. Suddenly everything is melting away with a more laid-back part trying to trying to wash away the sonic impact that the last seventy or so minutes had on your psyche. The process is crucial and becomes almost cathartic leading you through the collapsing soundscapes and dissolving mystical corridors leading to the pathway towards the void. The spacious experience comes into a purifying outburst about fifteen minutes in the song while the psychedelic essence of the band is brought back to continue the journey through a more dreamlike manner. The blackened soul of Seidr makes one last appearance before it is finally laid to rest with the sonic manipulation of the band concluding this magnificent album.

The impact that this album has is unbelievable. Through its ninety (!!) minutes, the band is putting together all their musicianship, technicality and inspiration. Ginnungagap is a complete album, everything in here has its purpose and the sheer amount of thought that has been put into creating an album such as this one is insane. I am very intrigued to see how they can top this one…

9.0 / 10Spyros Stasis
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9.0 / 10

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