Deep in the north atlantic ocean there is a small group of islands. At the edge of these islands are cliffs overlooking the vast ocean. In the bedrock of these cliffs is a place unseen. In the absence of light, enveloped in darkness, there is a crystalline opaque substance which rises from the blackest core of the earth. This substance is called Svartmálm.
Founded in 2016, Faroese quartet Svartmálm has quietly been causing whispers in musical circles with their select performances. Svartmálm creates ceremonial compositions ranging from abject aggression to atmospheric melancholy. Where the slow majesty of doom is combined with the whirlwind stasis of black and the collective groove is intertwined with ambient soundscapes.
The band was formed as an outlet for emotions and thoughts that the members usually do not get to work with in their other projects. Taking on the guises in Svartmálm and operating under the pseudonyms Deyði (vocals, guitar), Pest (guitar, keys), Hungur (bass) & Kríggj (drums) makes possible a different expression which creates a balance within. Elements of black metal culture are combined with elements of Faroese culture. All lyrics are in Faroese and deal with the examination of darkness both historical and present.
The band’s self-titled debut album is to be released on TUTL Records in February 2018. Svartmálm contains six tracks: ‘Deytt Ljós’, ‘Vík frá mær’, ‘Reiðmenn’ and and the three-part suite “Svartideyði”. The album was recorded by Theodor Kapnas (Hamferð) at Studio Bloch in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands and mastered by George Nerantzis in Greece. The album artwork is by the artist Elinborg Lützen (1919-1995) and the cover is designed by Uni Árting. The lyrics for “Svartideyði” are based on the poetry collection Tá eg hoyri míni einsligu fótafet millum følnaðu heystbløðini (2014) by the poet, painter and bass player Øssur Johannesen. When performing live, the band is dressed in robes designed by Nordic avantgarde designer Barbara í Gongini.
To mark the release of the album, Svartmálm will perform live at home and abroad.
Live at G! Festival: