On a day like December 12th you could typically expect Munich to be chilly, rainy and dark. However, when you have a look at the past years, people have spent this twelvth day of the twelvth month in a beergarden, rather than wrapped in blankets and pullovers. Even during the coldest hours, the temperature barely dropped below that point, where everything slowly but steadily begins to congeal.
This year though, it might be a little different, at least in case you are – more or less – accidentially at Backstage on this day, Tuesday it is. Probably it might be blamed on the weather too, but who knows right now alread? For sure however, a freezing cold will reach to the furthest corners of the venue and deep into our bones, as soon as Auðn will hit the stage.
Auðn, that means something like desolation in Icelandic. This island in the far north, seductive by its menacing, sometimes even threatening but likewise fascinating and appealing desolation and relentlesness, Auðn call their home, particularly the small city of Hveragerði, about an hour drive east of Reykjavík. Upon first impression, it doesn’t even feel too cold and harsh in Hveragerði. There are greenhouses, heated by the fires from deep below Earth’s surface, where Icelanders grow tomatoes and bananas. There is even a warm creek, inviting for a dive. But even sitting inside this natural tub, you would shiver while listening to the icy Black Metal of this five headed band.
The tradition and history of (Black) Metal in Iceland is a long one, and you’d be struggeling to find another band within the past years showing a similar rise in popularity and success. Founded in 2010, Hjalti Sveinsson (vocals), Aðalsteinn Magnússon, Andri Björn Birgisson (both guitar), Hjálmar Gylfasson (bass guitar) und Sigurður Kjartan Pálsson (drums) released their self-titled debut some four years later, which appeared to be bursting from atmospheric, powerful Black Metal. Starting from Iceland’s legendary metal festival Eistnaflug, the band recently conquered the bigger stages: they reached third place in Wacken’s Metal Battle in 2016 and appeared at the prestigious Inferno and Roadburn festivals this year.
Like finger nails scratching over a blackboard, song like “Klarkaveldi” caused a bloodcurling, yet fascinating awe amongst the ones that had been lucky enough to discover the band back then already. Technical perfection, sophisticated songwriting and sounds heavy and solid like cast iron paired with mesmerizing melodies to become an album that set the bar extremely high for everything that was about to come. And finally, now it’s the time for the successor “Farvegir Fyndar”, meaning “Ancient Riverbeds” that is being released at Seasons of Mist these days. It opens even deliberately and silently, with a gorgeous, instrumental intro to “Veröld hulin”, which involves almost half of the entire song. The deceptive calm however is then brutally ripped apart by Hjaltis agonizing screams and razor-sharp guitars. Changes in pace and mood pervade the song, making it a musical and emotional rollercoaster ride that thrills you to goosebumps. Another two songs have been released beforehand: “Skuggar” is almost a Black Medal ballad, whilst “Í hjálmstráið held” fells like a glacier on tank chains. Both don’t fall off even a bit compared to the opener. Auðn are back for sure and the bring desolation, despair and a lot of metal goods again to your attention – and to their thrilling live gigs.
Together with spectacular Norwegian newcomers from Ghaals Wyrd, formed by former members from legendary bands Gorgoroth and God’s Seed as well as French Metallers of The Great Old Ones, Auðn are about to bring a Black Metal experience to Munich’s Backstage on December 12th that we advise you not to miss under any circumstances. Other German cities in Auðn’s tour schedule in December are Bochum (1st) and Berlin (15th).