GlerAkur - The Mountains Are Beautiful Now album review

Icelandic soundtracks with little to write home about

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It’s easy to think that Iceland, with its wide, harsh landscapes, would give rise to a certain sound, that you can draw parallels between music and the environment it arises from. And a record like The Mountains Are Beautiful Now gives you reasons to do so. The debut of Elvar Geir Sævarsson’s alias GlerAkur was written as a soundtrack for a play about Icelandic outlaws, Fjalla-Eyvindur & Halla. Now, his multi-layered, atmospheric and spacious soundscapes are the perfect soundtrack to evoke images of glaciers and snow-clad sceneries. But while the first two songs feature impressive build-ups, beautiful ambient vibes and sludgy heaviness, the middle part sounds like one gigantic interlude and reminds you that these songs weren’t created to stand alone but to accompany a play. It takes the closing Fagurt Er Á Fjöllunum Núna to bring The Mountains… anywhere near the level of intensity and tension that it displayed in the beginning. But who has the patience to wait that long?