Iceland’s progressive post-black metal band Kontinuum unleashes their debut effort, Earth Blood Magic, to the masses. Risen from the ashes of the dark metal act Potentiam and experimental metal act Pornea, Kontinuum’s eclectic style is a breath of fresh air in a stale, dry environment in the post-black metal scene. While there are some great post-black metal acts, there are far too many and the scene has become saturated.
After listening to Earth Blood Magic, it makes me wonder about what kind of desolate land Reykjavík, Iceland must be. the music is filled with tones of death, sorrow and anti-religious themes. The band is more than up to the task musically, and vocalist Birgir Thorgeirsson has the range to take on even the most various vocal tones ranging from a clean, gothic tone to even some deep, guttural bellows.
While Kontinuum sites bands like Katatonia and Sólstafir as their prime influences, I hear traces of bands like Agalloch and even Candlemass in their sound. Clocking in at a little under 60 minutes, Earth Blood Magic is a nice ride and one worth taking. You have to put yourself in the mood to be ready for this type of music, but when ready, it proves itself to be more than ample in its delivery.
My main beef with the album? Earth Blood Magic is not treading new ground. I am not sure why I would reach for this album when I have dozens of albums that sound just like it. Kontinuum is talented and Earth Blood Magic is a nice release, but they are just not setting themselves apart for me yet. But note the use of the word “yet.” While most of the band has been around the block, Kontinuum itself are relative noobs to the genre, and I think that they will have plenty to offer in subsequent releases.
Earth Blood Magic Track Listing:
2. Steinrunninn skógur
4. Strange Air
7. Lýs milda ljós
9. Í Gljúfradal
Engilbert Hauksson – Bass (Potentiam, ex-Thule, ex-Changer, ex-Pornea)
Kristján B. Heiðarsson – Drums (Changer, ex-Shiva, ex-Pornea, ex-Stonehenge, Dark Harvest, ex-Bootlegs, ex-Potentiam)
Thorlakur Thor Gudmundsson – Guitars
Ingi Þór Pálsson – Guitars
Birgir Thorgeirsson – Vocals, Guitars (Potentiam, ex-Pornea)