Solefald - Red for Fire: An Icelandic Odyssey Part I
Season Of Mist
Avant-Garde Metal
10 songs (54'08")
Release year: 2005
Solefald, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Adam
Solefald have always been extremely diverse, which is why hearing a jazzy saxophone in the opening track of Red for Fire: An Icelandic Odyssey Part I does not come as a shock as it might coming from some other metal bands.

The team of Lars Nedland and Cornelius Jakhelln have returned with the first installment of a two-part story album (the second half, Black for Death, is scheduled to be released in latter part of 2006). The story deals with a court poet who is caught having an affair with the king’s wife, who quickly falsifies a rape allegation to cover her mistake. The poet, Bragi, quickly escapes to the Iceland wilderness for fear of the king’s wrath. This half of the story deals with his mental struggles.

The sound on this album was obviously intended to have a Viking aura to it, but with the avant-garde touch of a typical Solefald album. There are bits and pieces of literally every genre of metal scattered throughout this release. The thrashy beginning to Survival of the Outlaw would be a prime example, though one could conceivably find instances of folk metal, death metal, black metal, and even power metal in these tracks.

The vocals range from Lazare’s clean folk vocals to Jakhelln’s grunts and growls to the operatic sounds of guest vocalist Frost. These all generally come off well, though, at times, Cornelius seems to be really forcing his deep voice grunts and they sound a bit off kilter. His black metal shrieks work the best, and they particularly stood out to me around the three-minute mark of There is Need. The overall production is very crisp, which helps smooth the quick transitions taken in many of the songs. I could definitely do without the closing track, a near six-minute spoken word passage. I appreciate the need for spoken interludes in a story album, but this particular one drags on way too long. Just a minor complaint, though, and one of the few I have for this solid album.

Many bands claim to be diverse and ranging in their sound, but Solefald continues to be the gold standard, not only for how to mix in a little bit of everything, but how to do it well. I also appreciate the storytelling aspect as it makes the overall experience of the album more interesting. Hopefully, Black for Death will close out the Icelandic Odyssey in the same fashion.
Killing Songs :
Survival of the Outlaw, There is Need, Crater of the Valkyries
Adam quoted 82 / 100
Kayla quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Solefald that we have reviewed:
Solefald - World Metal – Kosmopolis Sud reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Solefald - Norrøn Livskunst reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
Solefald - Neonism reviewed by Goat and quoted 93 / 100
Solefald - The Linear Scaffold reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Solefald - Black For Death: An Icelandic Odyssey Pt. II reviewed by Andrew and quoted 74 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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