2014 will be a year of important developments for German / Icelandic pagan black metallers Árstíðir lífsins. After two full length albums in 2010 and 2012 and a split with German band Helrunar, a long overdue sign of life shall be presented by Ván Records under the name of “Þættir úr Sögu Norðrs“. This piece of medieval Icelandic bloodshed and pagan praise will be released in late March 2014 by the band’s well known record partner, on digipak CD and Vinyl, including all lyrics in Old Icelandic and English. Translated from Old Icelandic as (medieval) “Short Stories from the History of the North“, the MCD/LP contains three new songs by this critically acclaimed international outfit.
The first two hymns, “Þórsdrápa I & II” are yet another epic musical journey back to mythic 10th century Iceland. “Þórsdrápa” represents the band’s very own homage to the same-named praise poem, composed in honor and reverence of the heathen deity Þórr. Entirely sung in Old Icelandic they contain the original wording of this 10th century work or art by Icelandic scald Eilífr Goðrúnarson. The final song on this EP, “Hrafns þáttr Réttláta” (engl. The Tale of Hrafn the Righteous), represents another, elder aspect of the Icelandic medieval literature. Both the lyrical concept and the recording itself goes back to the recording sessions of the band’s highly acclaimed second album “Vápna Lækjar Eldr“, which dealt with the theme of blood-feuds between families in 10th century Iceland. On “Hrafns þáttr Réttláta“, a story of similar inspiration is presented, packed in the epic and diverse musical shape for which the band is known since their well-received debut album “Jötunheima Dolgferð“.
Also, with ”Hrafns þáttr Réttláta” a very significant change in the band’s setup comes to the surface. Georg has left Árstíðir Lífsins due to personal reasons a while ago. Thus, “Hrafns þáttr Réttláta“, the lyrics of which were written by Georg, could be considered his swansong to the band’s discography and we wish him only the best for his future endeavors. The remaining core of the band, that is Árni, Marsél and Stefán, will stay as a trio. The aforementioned “Þórsdrápa I & II” present, however, a veritable hint of what is to come in the near future. A pre-order option has been made available on Ván Records’ website. Audio-samples will surface when the release-date draws near.
1. Þórsdrápa I
2. Þórsdrápa II
3. Hrafns þáttr réttláta