Band: Altari

Album: Krôflueldar

Country: Iceland

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date: April 14th, 2023

Label: Svart Records

Author: Michael Litteral


Someone mentioned that this album probably flew under the radar due to fellow Icelandic black metal collective Sól án Varma’s striking self-titled album that came out around the same time as Altari’s Kröflueldar. That couldn’t be more accurate for me, because I loved and was obsessed with Sól Án Varma during that time earlier this year.


Now, with me mentioning Iceland and another band from that region, do not assume that you know exactly what this album will sound like. This black metal extravaganza incorporates a lot of psychedelic rock into its formula that gives this album a different light than what we are accustomed to from our pals in Iceland.


Right off the bat, you can feel an open atmosphere of curiosity and a passion to explore. Much different from the suffocating dissonance that was expected. Now, the realm of possibilities is opened and expanding as we cross the uncertainty.


The album cover, in my opinion, does a great job of showcasing various warm colors being mixed and morphed into the cleanliness of white. It brings the listener into a headspace of color and motion instead of objects and pictures to narrate what’s going on behind the musical compositions.


This album is a journey through rich textures that can be felt through the screams that have a distant human feel to them with different ranges in pitch and intensity. In the middle of the album, we are graced with clean female vocals that absolutely stitched a velvet bow on top of this mysterious package.


Jazz drumming and bass guitar that doesn’t mind strolling alone really gives this album its psychedelic twist, and it allows the listener’s mind to wonder a bit. It carries this sense of open-world exploration, not the narrowed path of the focused.


Putting all of these experimental tendencies together, we have an album that you will return to regularly. As mentioned above about this album being overcasted by Sòl Àn Varma when the two releases came out, I find myself revisiting this album more now that the dust of discovery has settled back down. As of right now, I think this album will be higher on the AOTY list out of the two.



Biography:  Michael Litteral is just your friendly neighborhood metalhead who can’t seem to find his way out of the black, and he’s just fine with that.