Singer/guitarist Aðalbjörn Tryggvason has always worn his vast musical influences on his sleeve. Be it an ENTOMBED sticker emblazoned on his guitar, queueing up Ennio Morricone before a set, or paying homage to Lemmy Kilmister with his cowboy sensibilities, it’s no secret that his love for music cannot be contained to any one genre. Now, Tryggvason is taking his adoration for crust punk to an exciting new level with his latest project, BASTARÐUR, which channels influences such as NAPALM DEATH, TERRORIZER, MOTÖRHEAD, and DISFEAR.
“The idea of writing death metal in the vein of old ENTOMBED came in 2018,” Tryggvason says on the project’s inception. “Not being able to channel my love for such music through my main band [SÓLSTAFIR], I began writing riffs, and riffs became songs, and all the sudden it had more crust punk elements than I had foreseen.” And yet, despite the apparent departure from SÓLSTAFIR’s sound, Tryggvason’s signature voice and brief moments of atmospheric texture color the record in familiar shades that ring true to his core musical identity.
The band was born during personal turmoil, a prime example of turning a negative situation into a positive opportunity. “Living with my parents after a relationship break up and being unemployed, I set up a small studio in my dad’s garage, and after a few months there was an album of material,” explains Tryggvason. “Me and my good mate Birgir Jónsson, most known for his work with Icelandic metal act DIMMA, had for years talked about making music together, and this seemed the perfect time, so we got ourselves into a studio with former SÓLSTAFIR live sound guy Jóhann and recorded the album in a few days.”
Tryggvason tapped several other co-conspirators to contribute towards his vision. Guest vocals are attributed to Marc Grewe (MORGOTH/INSIDIOUS DISEASE) and Alan Averill (PRIMORIDIAL), the latter of whom also penned the lyrics on two of the album’s tracks. Some of the blistering guitar solos were handled by Ragnar Zolberg, whom SÓLSTAFIR fans may know as he has filled in on bass for the band during occasional live shows, and Thrainn from SKÁLMÖLD. “I dare to call them Hanneman/King of Iceland,” Tryggvason says of the talented pair of axmen.
BASTARÐUR’s debut also takes a cue from Tryggvason’s distant musical past and rudimentary beginnings. “I used to be in a punk band called BÖLVUN, where I played drums,” he explains. “’Afturhalds Kommatittir’ is from that band, so we got Ingi Thor Pálsson and Flosi Þorgeirsson to play on that song. Flosi also does a bass solo on ‘Viral Tumor.’
Now, after three years in the making, BASTARÐUR is finally ready to make its debut via Season of Mist!
Guest vocals on “Neonlight Blitzkrieg” by Marc Grewe
Vocals on “Black Flag Fools” by Alan Averill
Backing vocals on “Afturhalds Kommatittir” by Ásgeir Trausti, Júlli T og Siggi Hjálmur.
Guitar leads on “Burn” by Ragnar Zolberg
Guitar leads on “Neonlight Blitzkrieg” by Thrainn Árni Baldvinsson
Guitar leads on “Viral Tumor” by Ragnar Zolberg and Thráinn Árni Baldvinsson
Bass solo on “Viral Tumor” by Flosi Þorgeirsson
Adalbjörn Tryggvason – Vocals/guitar/bass
Birgir Jónsson – Drums
Recording studio: Hljóðriti, Kleifarsel and Grótta
Produced by: Aðalbjörn Tryggvason
Recorded/mixed: by Jóhann Rúnar at Hljóðriti
Cover art: Fannar Aumingi