Every once in a while I receive emails from labels that I haven’t heard of at all. Like yesterday, when Mystískaos approached to me with a list of some of their releases, which were neatly structured and presented. That alone made a very good impression and despite that I opened their email with a sceptical attitude, I then realized that I was onto something big. Among the features, Andavald and their debut “Undir skyggðarhaldi” particularly stood out.

At first glance I knew that there was a special vibe awaiting behind the unsettling artwork and my expectations were met. Actually, let me correct myself; they were surpassed! “Undir skyggðarhaldi” offers 5 songs of extremely unnerving compositions. They are dangerously hypnotic and rapidly transforming into a mental vortex of sheer insanity.

That alone has the capacity of transporting the listener into a very special headspace that rarely do people visit. Namely, the furthermost corners of the human psyche where the darkness is beyond anything portrayed on modern media. Pure psychic terror unleashed!

Apart from the spectacularly delivered musical components, though, the vocals amplify the experience by a magnitude beyond measure. They exemplify a blend of terrifying emotions and altered states of consciousness to an inhuman degree. Erasing the thin line between reason and a lost mind wandering into the nightmarish void.

Note: Digital download is still free of charge (as of the day of this post). Get your copy via Bandcamp. For physical copies, send your inquiries to Mystískaos.

Needless to say, this is not a release made to appeal the listener on a daily basis. Andavald’s Undir skyggðarhaldi” demands a specific alignment in order to unlock its grand potential. Otherwise, you get just another good Icelandic black metal manifestation. Beware, it is far, far more than just that and I can only wish you to live it through as I did.