Úrhrak – “Kvikindi” Cassette (2015)

If you’re a regular follower of Life in the Vinyl Lane, you’ll know I’m a fan of the Icelandic black metal label Vanagandr. I try to pick up everything that they put out, but there are still some holes on my shelves because of releases I’ve missed. Fortunately I was able to fill three of those holes while in Reykjavik for Airwaves, as my friend Gestur tracked down a few for me. One of those was Úrhrak’s 2015 three-song cassette Kvikindi.

Kvikindi is atmospherically heavy. That’s not to imply it’s primarily instrumental – we’ve got plenty of anguished hell-borne vocals piercing the musical doom curtain to reach out for your soul in an effort to drag you back underneath the sound and into the depths of despair. The tempo generally stays sludgy, though at times the drums try to break free from the rest of the sound with their machine-gun-like double-kick action, but even they can’t alter the course of this beast as it consumes everything before it. The third track, “Mold Er Hold,” probably comes the closest to breaking free of it’s chains and exploding outward, with he guitar work showing more variety and range than on the other two tracks, though never trying to keep pace with the drums when they decide to speed-rumble.

The album is available online HERE, so if you’re feeling a bit too upbeat and need to remind yourself that the world is full of pain and sorrow, give Kvikindi a listen.