Sólstafir at Brutal Assault 2015
|Genres||Post-metal, post-rock, black metal (early)|
|Labels||Season of Mist|
Sólstafir is an Icelandic post-metal band formed in 1995 and currently signed to Season of Mist. Originally a black metal band, they transitioned to a post-rock-influenced style on their second album Masterpiece of Bitterness.
Sólstafir was formed in 1995 by guitarist/singer Aðalbjörn Tryggvason, bassist Halldór Einarsson, and drummer Guðmundur Óli Pálmason. The band's name is the Icelandic word for sun beams (crepuscular rays). They soon recorded the demos Í Norðri and Til Valhallar. Einarsson then left the band, and Tryggvason and Pálmason recorded a promo tape as a duo in 1997.
During this period, Svavar Austmann joined as the new bassist and the band began recording their debut full-length album, Í Blóði og Anda. The album was not released until 2002 due to various recording delays and label disputes. Shortly after that album was completed, second guitarist Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson joined the band and made his debut on the 2002 demo Black Death. The band began playing live in Iceland in 2002.
After shopping around a three-track demo of new songs, Sólstafir singed with Spinefarm Records in 2005. Their second album Masterpiece of Bitterness was released by Spinefarm later that year. The album received positive reviews, with Metal Storm stating "the perfect mix of non-Metal elements with metal ones makes it a necessary album for any Metalhead looking for something that breaks the mold of pre-established genres." Their third album Köld was recorded in Sweden and released in 2009. Reviewers compared the band's sound to Enslaved and Neurosis, among others, while noting their unique post-black metal sound. The album was also noted for its addition of atmospheric passages. Sólstafir began to tour Europe regularly in 2010 and made their their first of many open-air appearances at the Roskilde Festival that year.
Sólstafir's fourth full-length album, Svartir Sandar, was released by Season of Mist in 2011. This album was the band's first chart placement, reaching no. 7 in Iceland and no. 11 in Finland. The song "Fjara" also entered the single charts and reached no. 1 in Iceland. This album signaled Sólstafir's retreat from black metal and move toward experimental atmospherics of the type practiced by fellow Icelanders Sigur Rós. Their fifth album Ótta was released by Season of Mist in 2014, and was noted for its additional experimental elements like strings and piano.
In January 2015, the band announced that longtime drummer Guðmundur Óli Pálmason had left the band for "personal reasons". Pálmason replied immediately via the band's Twitter account, explaining that he'd been "stonewalled by ex-bandmates" and forced out of by Aðalbjörn Tryggvason. Pálmason was replaced by Hallgrímur Jón Hallgrímsson. Sólstafir released their sixth album, Berdreyminn, in May 2017.
- Aðalbjörn "Addi" Tryggvason – guitar, vocals (1995–present)
- Svavar "Svabbi" Austmann – bass (1999–present)
- Sæþór Maríus "Pjúddi" Sæþórsson – guitar (2002–present)
- Hallgrímur Jón "Grimsi" Hallgrímsson – drums (2015–present)
- Halldór Einarsson – bass (1995–1997)
- Guðmundur Óli Pálmason – drums (1995–2015)
- Í Blóði og Anda, 2002 (Ars Metalli)
- Masterpiece of Bitterness, 2005 (Spinefarm Records)
- Köld, 2009 (Spinefarm Records)
- Svartir Sandar, 2011 (Season of Mist)
- Ótta, 2014 (Season of Mist)
- Berdreyminn, 2017 (Season of Mist)
- Til Valhallar (EP), 1996
- Black Death (EP), 2002
- Ótta Sampler EP / Bonus: Live at Hellfest 2014 (EP), 2014
- Tilberi (EP), 2016
- Silfur-Refur (EP), 2017
- Í Norðri (demo), 1995
- Promo Tape September 1997 (demo), 1997
- Black Death (demo), 2001
- Promo 2004 (demo), 2004
- 2011: "Fjara"
- 2012: "Æra"
- 2013: "Þín orð"
- 2014: "Ótta"
- "Fire & Ice - An Icelandic Metal Compilation" (Compilation), 1997
- "Fjara/Runaway Train" (Split with Legend), 2014
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- "To clear up any misunderstanding". Sólstafir official blog. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
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- Solstafir's 'Berdreyminn' Exposes the Dark Side of Utopia
- "Sólstafir announces new album Svartir Sandar details". Metal Underground. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
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