Úlfúð, Of Existential Distortion (Dark Descent 2023)

Black metal band Úlfúð opens a dark book with Of Existential Distortion.

Icelanders Úlfúð capture isolation and emptiness on their first long-player, following up on their debut EP from 2018, First Sermon. Coming together in 2015, the band is comprised of Birkir Kárason (guitar), Eysteinn Orri Sigurðsson (guitar), Sigurður Jakobsson (drums), Hannar Sindri Grétarsson (bass), and Breki Danielsen Imsland (vocals). According to the press release, Úlfúð is pronounced “ool-wooth” and means animosity or hostility, a description that fits the music well.

There are eight tracks on the new album, beginning with “Where Strange Lights Dance.” The black metal trill opens dark and sour on the song, expanding into steadiness with the customary underlying proliferation of notes. The death metal influences live in the vocals and the rhythm crust, and they combine perfectly with the blackness. “Tears of Terra” sounds like a dark fantasy tale filled with conflict and dread, purveying uncertain outcomes. This music is more significantly full than a lot of black metal I hear – meaning it is not merely a barrage of notes but is instead a meticulously created musical entity. “Mockery Theatre” adds a massive heaviness to many passages and a surprisingly catchy hook as well, not to mention the haunting lead guitar work. I would love to see this one performed live.

This album is plaintive and sorrowful, but also active and engaging. Songs like “Faceless” and “Questions” are fascinating in the drive the conjure with their straightforward constructions and memorable sidebars. Don’t miss the eight-minute epic “An Elegy to a Paradise Out of Reach,” which howls and swirls in a frozen wasteland, and the closer, “Leviathan Dreams,” a song that carries dark threats and unforgettable musical lines. Recommended.

Of Existential Distortion is out Friday, March 17th through Dark Descent Records. Have a look at the links below.


Bandcamp, https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/of-existential-distortion

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ulfud/

Dark Descent Records, https://www.darkdescentrecords.com/shop/

© Wayne Edwards

Úlfúð, Of Existential Distortion (Dark Descent 2023)