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Dynfari - The Four Doors Of The Mind album review

Iceland’s post-black metallers seek a therapy for pain

Dynfari’s fourth album – a treatise on the ways in which we try to cope with pain – manages to be both accessibly engaging and philosophically highbrow. The album’s initial instrumental somnambulance is shaken from its slumber by the restless exhilaration of Sorgarefni Segi Eg Thér’s restlessly dynamic black metal. 2nd Door: Forgetting is an exercise in muscular restraint as ceaseless double bass and brooding riffs are barely kept at bay before the delicate folk of Sorg degenerates into madness’s escape from the agony of reality and Bikarinn’s acoustic thrum and percussive pound attempts to calm singer Jóhann Örn’s insistent guttural rant. Ultimate release comes eventually in closer 4th Door: Death, and far from being the record’s aggressive pinnacle, herein lies only ambient repose. Inspired in equal parts by the work of fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss and Icelandic existentialist poet Jóhann Sigurjónsson, Dynfari’s abstractions are based upon the mental and physical experiences of Örn’s battle with an autoimmune disease. The very real struggle to prevail injects this effortlessly accomplished experience with a vital sincerity and a genuine emotional depth.