ALBUM REVIEW: Misþyrming (Misthyrming) - Algleymi

From the land of deadly beaches, glacier lagoons, ice caves, and poisonous volcanic gasses comes Misþyrming, proving that yet another country can do black metal way better then those pesky Norwegian hooligans. These Icelandic masterminds really bring black metal back to life - or unlife, if you want to be poetic.

For a band who loves it's lore, rich descriptions, and oozing atmosphere - Misþyrming really does break a few rules along the way. Somehow the group carries the general aesthetic and attitude of your average black metal puritan band, but isn't so ignorant as to carry the shackles that generally make the subgenre iffy. Don't get me wrong, I've grown accustomed to low-fi black metal over the years and some of it can be extremely engaging, but a little care with the production can elevate a good album to greatness. Misþyrming's Algleymi feels like a realization that some care can push black metal forwards and attribute to a great and genuinely harrowing atmosphere. Here, I can sense the despair, isolation, and mystery that the band was going for in the music alone. Cold black nights for everyone.

Oh, and yes you can even hear the bass on this one! Yes, blasphemy - I know. However, it's presence adds a much needed punch to faster moments. The pairing of tremolo picking, a decent blast beat, and bass line contributes to a more well-rounded tone overall. And, whilst there aren't too many actual slow atmospheric sections here - the bass helps bolster the general impact those moments have. So, let that be a lesson to those who mix out bass for the sake of tradition and treble - the bass has a place in black metal. It's 2019 for crying out loud, a kid with a $40 Behringer UMC22 and $200 entry level Ibanez could do it. Misþyrming did it too.

(Enjoy some of Misþyrming's pervious work:)


Now, Algleymi is still black metal through and through. It just happens to hold a far better realized sound within. There isn't anything that is going to alienate any level of fan when it comes to the subgenre - if anything, it might pull a few new listeners in. The latter probably being due to the more accessible lyrical style Misþyrming's vocalist uses. It's quite a bit lower then what I'm used to, with the singer's voice being more commanding then otherworldly. Personally, I thought it worked quite well.

My only gripe is that I do not have this album on my shelf now, whilst a vinyl edition does exist out there. Truly, I feel as if Algleymi is a black metal masterpiece that deserves all the attention it can get - especially since I'd personally love to hear even more of what Misþyrming is capable of.

-KEITH H-

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