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Momentum's 'Fixation, at Rest' Cements Their Status as the New Kings of Icelandic Prog Metal

This digital reissue of the Reykjavik trio's 2010 debut shows just how far they've come, and how much further they can go.

af Kim Kelly
13 januar 2016, 7:05am

Icelandic black metal may be some of the world's best, but there's more than one shade of black darkening Reykjavik's practice spaces—one of which is the kaleidoscopic range of progressive metal. I already know that Solstafir fans will see that headline up there and fly screeching into the comments, but hear me out. I suppose it'd be more accurate to refer to the Reykjavík trio as this particular microscene's crown princes, or, perhaps, as visiting royalty from beyond the stars—surely that description's appropriately sci-fi for a band this proggy, who proudly proclaimed that "the freak is alive" on their last album?

Galactic coordinates notwithstanding, Momentum shares more than just a zip code with Solstafir. They've charted a similar course through extreme metal, beginning in Satanic savagery and slowly morphing into something more dynamic, more experimental, more atmospheric, and, occasionally, more industrial (see "Red Silence"). It's progressive as hell, but not wishy-washy; even on the band's newest material, Momentum retains enough darkness and heft to avoid obscuring the band's black/death metal origins. It's far more Opeth than Origin, but we're talking Blackwater Park here.

The band's debut album, Fixation, at Rest, was first released back in 2010, and is getting a shiny new digital release from Norwegian label Dark Essence Records. We're streaming it in full below, so press play and get acquainted.