By: Ralka Skjerseth |
The darkwave/synth-punk scene keeps on emerging and the Icelandic three-piece Kælan Mikla is one of the remarkable acts that keep the scene going. Back on November 9th, the band released their third studio album “Nótt eftir nótt” under the Toronto-based label Artoffact Records. Earlier this year they have gone through a stellar journey by performing at high-profile stages such as Roadburn and The Cure’s 40th Anniversary, and now they’re striving for something even higher through this new release. The renowned Icelandic one-man band Bang Gang is the producer of this album, as well as a guest contributor on the title track. The whole masterpiece is presented in a cryptic way, with ethereally haunting vocals resonating to a funereal impending doom. It’s spectacular how all three members, Margrét Rósa, Laufey Soffia, and Sólveig Matthildur, all contributed in the vocals, with their own eclectic characteristics. Their dark waves are transcending the boundaries of time and space.
The album starts with opener Gandreið, which has a distinct tone of murkiness. It is proceeded by Nornalagið with its vibrant synth lines and blistering echoes, and then we have Hvernig kemst ég upp? that comes up with poetry-like lamentations, almost like a spoken word. Skuggadans, the fourth track, has distorting waves and appears to be upbeat. The thrilling vibes of Draumadís is exceptionally mindblowing, and Næturblóm here is a song with electronica elements that also has high-pitched shrieking vocals. The tremendously blasting Andvaka is a tune that is presented with pop elements. The title track which is also a collaboration with Bang Gang, Nótt eftir nótt, is one hell of a darkness that is just perfectly on point. The last track Dáið er allt án drauma is more poignant and solemn, presenting otherwordly vocals that go off beyond boundaries.
The Cure frontman Robert Smith definitely made the right choice when he picked Kælan Mikla to play at Meltdown Festival earlier this year. The band and its distinctive gothic elements and blistering sounds would bring the listeners into some kind of intricate atmosphere. The dark elements of the band personally reminds me of the likes of Chelsea Wolfe, the gothic vibes are similar to Sisters of Mercy, and the more post-punk sounds is pretty much comparable to the likes of the Birthday Party. Kælan Mikla’s Nótt eftir nótt is a profound record for lost souls looking for some kind of revelation in a form of sounds.