Review by Adam M on September 14, 2014.
Solstafir has created an album with an even more relaxing atmosphere than its previous entry Svartir Sandar. The wondrous ocean in the background on the album cover nicely represents the movements of music that are gone through here.
Songs typically feature softer moments that built up into a climax of more powerful moments. A great example of this is the title track, which has beautiful strings that are the background of the song and an increase in intensity that is wondrous to behold. “Midaftann” features beautiful piano and stands out as the most subtle piece here. One can also be overwhelmed by the last couple of minutes of “Lagnetti” and its use of piano. Overall, the tracks need time to get stuck in the listener’s mind and once they do the album can become more addictive.
This is also an album that is good for relaxing, despite partially belonging to the heavy metal genre. The mood or atmosphere is an important part of music and the amount that is created on Otta is overwhelming. The folk element of the music that is contained here is masked in a larger degree of atmospherics. The tag atmospheric metal might actually thus be largely appropriate for the music here. Instrumentally, a very sparse sound is accompanied by several instruments, much like Agalloch, but I think Solstafir has the advantage over that band this year.
Check out this new work and the band’s previous album while you’re at it and become enraptured by what is turning out to be one of the better bands in music these days. Otta is compelling from one song to the next.
Rating: 9 out of 10