Mammút – “Komdu Til Mín Svarta Systir” (2013)

I’m a bit late to the game in getting to Mammút’s 2013 LP Komdu Til Mín Svarta Systir. I knew the band had a brand new album out before our April 2013 trip to Reykjavik… and I bought the wrong record by mistake! I meant to buy Komdu Til Mín Svarta Systir, but instead picked up a copy of the band’s 2008 album Karkari. Mind you, this was no big deal really since I was already familiar with much of Karkari from having seen Mammút live a number of times, and I like their stuff. I rectified this oversight when I placed an order with my friends over at Reykjavik’s Lucky Records last month and included a copy of Komdu Til Mín Svarta Systir.

My initial impression was that this is a much more mature album than Karkari, though the more I listen, the more I’m not sure that’s a fair comparison. It’s a much quieter album for sure – slower paced songs that showcase Katrína Kata Mogensen’s voice, allowing her more room to sing and less to scream. Mogensen sounds hauntingly like Björk to me, both in terms of range and the pure power of her voice. But it’s not just the signing, because musically there’s a lot of richness here, with a deep, full sound and well structured songs. It’s almost not even a rock album but instead something that would have a much broader appeal, though one slightly hampered by all the songs being sung in Icelandic (though I certainly respect that decision).

It’s been a few years since we last saw Mammút live, so I wasn’t quite prepared for the new material and more mellow direction. That being said, I’m impressed with Komdu Til Mín Svarta Systir… though I would have liked one or two rocking tracks just to mix it up a little. But that’s just a matter of personal taste. We’ll definitely need to try to see them at Airwaves this year so we can experience the power of this new material live.

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