Reykjavik, Iceland's World Narcosis is an increasingly interesting outfit. Roots firmly planted amidst a rather seamless fusion of screamo-tinged blackened grind (or would that more accurately be flipped to blackened grind-tinged screamo?) as their approach drifts toward longer, darker, more emotional and atmospheric—and therefore more creative and powerful—compositions.
Constantly discordantly melodic (or, again, should that be melodically discordant?) guitars over dense pulses of bass and impressively shape-shifting percussive flourishes—I don't latch onto drumming too often, but I damn sure take note here—fronted by some of the most sincerely flesh-shredding shrieks/screams you're ever likely to encounter. All of this aided by a similar gradation into warm, spacious, and organic production values.
Complimentarily, I struggle to properly digest, assess, and communicate a reaction to this music. And I've always been one to prefer presenting sounds to you, the readers, for your own personal exploration, so…
Taken from World Narcosis' forthcoming new album, Lyruljóra—due out toward the end of November through Why Not? Plötuútgáfa!—check out "Gildra" below, followed by a quick-yet-informative chat with the band's talented drummer—and label owner—Ægir Sindri:
Frantic intensity bordering on chaotic explosiveness has always been an element of the World Narcosis sound, but in recent years it seems that the group has been gravitating toward a greater reliance on intricacies—musically and emotionally—to increase the contrast of your diversity. Recent material feels more "thoughtful," in a sense. Or—at least to me, as a listener—the approach now encourages me to think more about what I'm hearing in/feeling from your work. Is this perceived growth something that the band also recognizes from within?
I'd say increasingly intricate songwriting stems from us becoming more confident and proficient players. We strive to make music that moves and excites us and pushes us in different ways. I first got properly stoked about the new material when we wrote a song that we couldn't really play yet…
We like a lot of very different music and we draw influences from all over. It's diverse because it kind of has to be to keep us interested, I think. If writing stops being explorative and exciting, why keep going?
I always try to gather at least some information specific to the track being premiered, so what would you be willing to share regarding "Gildra"—musically, lyrically, etc.?
"Gildra" was a difficult one to figure out. We're used to writing songs that are fairly simple structurally—though they tend to have a lot going on—but the back-and-forths and variations in this one frequently made us mess up and scratch our heads. It took a lot of work to make it work, which brought out some pretty cool ideas and moments that I really like. Also, the record has a number of nods to drummers that I've been influenced by—some more obvious than others. Easy '90s metalcore points for spotting this one!
Viktor [Kaldalóns, vocals and lyrics] is working with traditional Icelandic poetic forms on the whole record, and stretching the Icelandic language in strange ways. This one is about LÍN [Lánasjóður Íslenskra Námsmanna], the Icelandic Student Loan Fund. "Gildra" means "trap."
Dyfrar í hlóðum Erúðsetja;
Líó Letýða; Yglidá.
Fordæða tjösul, Lótitja,
Dó, Ró og Dyrðildá.
The next World Narcosis LP, Lyruljóra, will once more be released through your own label, Why Not? Plötuútgáfa! You've been busy with several cool projects this year, so I have to give you an opportunity to provide the readers with some information about some of your other recent releases, and what's still to come…
Oh, hell yes. We have a lot of killer records coming out these days. World Narcosis put out a two-song 7" in August. "Hindra" was intended for Lyruljóra but didn't really fit, so we decided to give it its own release. The B-side, "Síra Sirna," was written pretty quickly in the cabin where we recorded both records, specifically for this 7". I think it came out pretty well.
The last week of September saw the release of Grit Teeth's first LP, Let It Be, which is an absolute rager. The last couple of years have seen some serious hype building up surrounding that band, and this release made quite a splash as soon as it landed. It's sold faster than anything I've been involved in before, and with good reason. They haven't been playing any shows for a while—I can't wait for them to come together for a release show. Soon, I hope.
The week after that, Godchilla's Hypnopolis arrived. Godchilla mixes a mountain of influences into a surprisingly cohesive whole. Tar-stinking sludge, earth-shaking doom, and some wild psychedelic surf. They're a deeply connected bunch of guys and Hypnopolis is a solid, ambitious effort that I hope gets the recognition it deserves.
And there's more to come. Lyruljóra will be out in a month or so. Brött Brekka are recording a fantastic record that I'm hoping to release in the spring. I redid the mix of my other band Dead Herring's forthcoming LP, and I am very happy with the results. It's called Drowned in Rock and should be out before February. Morð, a sludgy black metal band I also played in, recorded an LP a few years ago that has finally been mixed and mastered. If all goes well, that will be out sometime next year and we might even play a show or few.
Songs from all of these are on this bangin' compilation I made last summer. And there's even more to come. Next year will be pretty busy…