BASTARDUR "Satan's Loss of Son"

By Dr. Abner Mality

SOLSTAFIR is a band I freely admit I don't know too much about, other than they are from Iceland and they are really melodic and atmospheric...probably too much for me. Their lead singer and composer Adalbjorn Tryggvason is apparently a man of diverse musical tastes, though, with some of those tastes including prime D-beat punk and ENTOMBED style death and roll. Hence, we have his new project BASTARDUR, which is devoted to those interests.

When I think of raging d-beat style metal, the first name I think of is DISFEAR. Tryggvason does hit some DISFEAR-style notes on cuts like "Viral Tumor", "Burn" and "Afturhalds Kommatiir" but more often than not, there's still some melodic and melancholy elements that creep into the songs as well...elements that you don't find in most d-beat and Swedish death metal influenced bands. There's a certain sadness and even wistfulness that seeps into "Neonlight Blitzkrieg" and "The Whispering Beast". "Black Flag Fools" (I don't know if they are knocking the classic punkers or not) sounds like a straight up punk tune while "Rise Up" has a cool "marching" riff. As for Tryggvason's vocals, they are pretty much an angry shout with no death metal growls.

Does it work? I'd prefer it to be straightforward d-beat crush...the melodic elements dilute the raw impact of this kind of music.I give Tryggvason props for paying tribute to music that he loves, but maybe he overthinks it a bit with BASTARDUR.