The infamous Icelandic low is defined as a large and persistent atmospheric low-pressure centre that forms between Iceland and Greenland and is often the cause of strong winter winds over the North Atlantic. KATLA artistically translate this meteorological depression into dark doom-infused metal and deep musical emotion. An urgent sense of darkness and inner turmoil drives “Allt þetta helvítis myrkur” (“All this damn darkness”), the second full-length of the Icelandic duo. The soul crushing heaviness fueling this record makes KATLA’s melancholic debut album “Mó∂urástin” appear nearly light-hearted by comparison. Some of this album’s core composition reach back in time for more than a decade and were born out of spontaneous rehearsal room-sessions that were only now given final shape. The result is a cinematic musical stream of consciousness, in which many of the songs intertwine and flow into each other.
KATLA are the conceptual and musical brainchild of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Einar Thorberg Gu∂mundsson (FORTÍÐ, POTENTIAM) and former SÓLSTAFIR-drummer and visual artist Gu∂mundur Óli Pálmason. The duo deliberately took their name from one of the most active and feared Icelandic volcanoes to manifest that the external part of their inspiration relates to the islands ever-changing landscapes and subpolar climate. “The outer landscapes are as important to us as the inner darkness”, tells Einar. “KATLA is as much a product of our environment as derived from our state of mind.”
KATLA take their art very personally even beyond musical aspects. Cover art, photography, and the handwritten booklet – everything about “Allt þetta helvítis myrkur” has either been created by the duo or by their relatives and close friends. “We like to keep things in the family”, Gu∂mundur points out. “Everything is homemade yet up to our high standards.” This DIY-approach also applies to production as Einar was responsible for all recordings, mix, master, and cello-samples. The result proves the Icelanders right: “Allt þetta helvítis myrkur” is an emotional tour de force – cinematic, dark, heavily emotional, and utterly mesmerizing.
“Allt þetta helvítis myrkur” is available as Digipak CD, 2CD artbook (hardcover, 48 pages, 28x28cm, with lush art photography by Gu∂mundur Óli Pálmason and four bonus tracks), gatefold 2LP (180g, black and ltd. white vinyl) and complete box set (with hotfoil-embossed lid, incl. 2CD artbook, gatefold 2LP on exclusive black-white marble vinyl, bonus 12″, four art prints and a patch; 300 copies available).