Dynfari – The Four Doors Of The Mind

Since their inception in 2010, Dynfari have proven to be a true, unearthed gem for forward thinking metal; and yet another entity in Iceland’s thriving and rich Extreme Metal scene. Continuously showing evolutionary steps across their early albums, 2015’s Vegferð Tímans (Code666) was at the time their creative zenith, bridging atmospheric Black Metal with post-Rock and ambient landscapes to stunning effect. On latest album The Four Doors Of The Mind (Code666/Aural), this duo have majorly upped the ante both in musical execution and in subject matter.

Arguably a concept album, The Four Doors… is based on the philosophical idea of 21st Century fantasy novelist Patrick Rothfuss; the idea that the mind copes with pain with four methods or stages: through sleep, forgetting, madness or finally, death, as well as the influence from Icelandic playwright Jóhan Sigurjónsson’s existential poetry.

Rothfuss’ observations are what truly shape the album, not only in having sections representing each ‘door’ but also in the way the album’s almost disparaging styles ebb and flow with one another to showcase this ideal. Where its heavier aspects perhaps resemble the harrowing experiences we face, the use of acoustic and traditional instrumentation across stripped-down passages also represents the mind coping; offering serenity and calm amongst the chaos; truly matching its subject matter in weight and depth.

Conceptual pieces can often prove impenetrable or overwhelming, but whereas this is a hugely deep and expansive experience, it is one that is totally immersive and enriching. The stunning marriage of extremity with minimalist passages and post-rock’s engrossing aura makes a surprisingly open listen which is equally rich with detail. In a modern scene which is constantly evolving, Dynfari has shown once again that they are one of the brightest shining diamonds waiting to be unearthed from obscurity.

8.5/10

CHRIS TIPPELL