Momentum: The Freak Is Alive

Iceland’s esoteric voyagers on the edge of enlightenment

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Flourishing rapidly from their extreme metal roots into a less quantifiable organism, Iceland’s Momentum get even weirder and more wonderful on their second full-length.

Opener Bury The Eyes Once Gold is an alluring invitation to renounce reality and embark upon a journey through the labyrinthine complexities of the mind: to unleash your inner freak. The music on offer is as elusive as the concept.

Convincingly enraged passages of turbulence betray the band’s brutal past, evaporating into void spaces of enthralling darkness, within which whorls of haunting chants entwine with frontman Holaf’s rich, earthen baritone. It’s a rare vocal quality that’s at its most emotive on Familiar Unknown, accompanied by a melody so delicate it could be a lullaby. Gauntlet draws back the veil with a grandiose flourish, revealing the full extent of the esoteric escapism on offer.

Both terrifying and tender, Momentum offer the key to enlightenment, only to hide the door deep within their maze./o:p