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Kontinuum: Kyrr

Gothic glory from atmospheric Icelanders

If Kontinuum’s debut record, Earth Blood Magic, was a raw, weird, formless work by a band still figuring out who they wanted to be that achieved brilliance more through raw talent than stylistic cohesion, Kyrr is a fully fledged work of coherent mastery by musicians who know precisely what they are aiming for.

Pitched on firmer stylistic ground, on a stark, dark, misery-drenched plain somewhere between post-punk, goth and post-metal, and sung half in English and half in Icelandic, Kyrr drifts in mood purposefully between mournful introspection and fevered, urgent desire, obsessing over its own flawed psyche straight after lustful coveting, before wistfully lamenting what it has lost.

This could lazily be described as a mash of Paradise Lost (the gloomy feel and occasional vocal croons), Sólstafir (the stark, cold atmosphere) and Beastmilk (the fraught need in the tone, and the vocal hooks), but that would overlook the odd, unsettling, beautifully individual spirit that is all Kontinuum’s own.

Kyrr enraptures with soaring sadness, addicting the ear with tragic melody, reeling you in with its instantly memorable tunes and driving energy, and keeping you coming back over and over again with the surprising, subtle complexities and the emotional depth on display. Superlative misery./o:p