Goathorned Productions announces September 15th as the international release date for Hræ’s striking debut album, Þar sem skepnur reika.
Hræ hail from the ever-vital Icelandic black metal scene, the work of one I. And although Hræ as an entity is otherwise new, mainman I. has been prolific with other Icelandic bands like Endalok, Naught, and the pan-international Guðveiki. Thus, one could assume that Hræ is I.’s most personal work to date, and indeed that is what you find with the band’s debut album, Þar sem skepnur reika. Initially only released digitally, so brilliant was its muse that Goathorned simply had to release it in physical CD format.
Comprising seven songs in 40 minutes, Þar sem skepnur reika feels far vaster than that humble runtime suggests. Hræ‘s ever-circular but equally askew songwriting bends, breaks, and rebuilds again, ad infinitum, while a strange sort of violence – brazen yet noble, almost barbaric if it wasn’t so nuanced – creates doom and dread with utmost ease. For a sound that’s so isolationist and yet surprisingly physical, Þar sem skepnur reika creates an always-hovering sensation that’s ghostly and paradoxically smothering, such is Hræ‘s astute use of space. Indeed, space exists between the notes, and a whole new, gnarly world exists there across Þar sem skepnur reika.
Alluringly unsettlingly, melodically atonal, Þar sem skepnur reika is a staggeringly sublime first entry from Hræ.
In the meantime, stream Þar sem skepnur reika in its entirety HERE at Hræ‘s Bandcamp. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Hræ’s Þar sem skepnur reika
2. Tungur og eiturský
3. Lofsöngur hinna rotnu
5. Hafið yfirþyrmandi