August 6, 2014

Seidr - Ginnungagap

Written by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

The word "seidr" (traditionally spelled "seiðr") is an old Norse term for sorcery rooted in a shamanic tradition, often involving spiritual journeys. The word is etymologically related to the Norse word for snare, or binding, meaning that a practitioner of seiðr was yoked to the spirit world.

Considering this, Seidr is a wildly appropriate moniker for the folk-tinged, doom-laden drone band, whose latest record, Ginnungagap, is named after the primordial voice that Norse mythology states existed before the universe was created. A spiritual journey through vast nothingness, pregnant and vibrating with the potential of creation, but still formless and threatening, it's a perfect metaphor for the sound captured on Ginnungagap.

Suffused with a low-level hum, like background radiation, the riffs are slow to build, but when they do they collapse in a fury, like a melting iceberg breaking apart and crashing into the ocean. The record is as eerie as it is heavy, at once ambitious and precise, allowing for huge thoughts about the origin of the universe to sidle next to biting moments of cosmic loneliness. Listening to Ginnungagap, it's easy to feel cosmic isolation and insignificance, and also a kind of superheated wonder.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

  1. Awesome that this one finally got a proper BC release. I picked up the CD when it came out because I'm impatient.

  2. Its cool, but in what world is this metal??

    1. All musical genres have hazy edges, but genuinely I'm curious about why you would classify this as not-metal, and what you could call it. There's a lot of ambiance, but to me, the passage at about the 4-minute mark of "The Pillars of Creation" has everything you need to be properly metal: growls, distortion, crushing heaviness, etc.

    2. As Natalie writes "the riffs are slow to build, but when they do they collapse in a fury"