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Metal Land » Viking, Pagan & Folk » Solstafir
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The band itself wasn't formed at any specific point in time. It just somehow became a side project of ours, as we (I, Aðalbjörn Tryggvason and Halldór Einarsson) were in other bands at that time. Circa ´93-´94.
Rehearsals were few and far between and we usually got some of our mates to play with us. There are some recordings that exist from those days with some different instrument lineups. As time past on our other bands split up and what we had left was this "band". So more effort and gain was put into it, and to complete the first real lineup we brought in drummer Guðmundur Óli Pálmason in December 1994. After four months of rocking together, making new songs, and mixing older stuff with newer, we hit the studio to record four songs that were released as the "Í Norðri" demo tape in June 1995. Hundred copies were made and sold out in December same year, around the same time we went to studio again recording six new songs. Those songs enstablished the band itself a lot more with it´s own style compared to the first demo. The plan was to release another demo with those six songs, but due to money problems and unexpected offer from View Beyond rec. four of them were released as a MCD. Like above mentioned, the musical style had changed quite a lot. The few negative critics being strongly compared to other bands vanished away. I can't recall a single "bad" review of the MCD that was entitled "Til Valhallar" (Guðmundur: I can remember one, from a magazine written by a Norwegian superstar-wannabe). To begin with View Beyond (Chech Republic) released thousand copies in august 1996. Pavel from View Beyond distributed 450 copies of it and Unkle Underground (Belgium) the same amount. The 100 copies left were for us. It got rather good distribution, especially compared to how small the label was that released it. I saw it my self in shops in Norway, Netherlands and Australia, and not to mention countries we have had letters from saying they have the CD. Later it was re-released in 500 copies due to many requests Pavel had gotten. The first six months of 1997 were a rather dead period in the history of the band as I (Aðalbjörn) went to Norway to school. But instead of rehearsing just even more time and effort was put in to letters, song writing and lyrics. And during August/September that same year we went into a studio recording three new songs, "released" in only few copies with the intention of letting some friends and labels hear some new stuff. Again, the music had progressed quite much. At this point, we had been close to signing to some labels a couple of times, but somehow it newer came to light. In may 1998 we recorded 5 other songs in our rehearsal room on some 8-track minidisc recorder. But that time as a duo as Halldór left the band to move to Australia, following his Aussie girlfriend. Still, we were in contact with some labels, but still nothing had happened. Until one day we got in touch with ARS Metalli rec. from Germany. Christoph, the "commander" of ARS Metalli was very pleased with the 5 song rehearsal recording and said he was interested in the band. In April 1999 the studio was booked, along with a new bass player that had joined the war, namely Svavar Austmann. A long awaited full length LP (or CD or whatever) was finally on it's way. The studio session was a long tragic disaster story, but somehow we came out of there with an album.
...And since, alot of things have come to pass.
Originally I was going to re-write this bio, as it is long since out-dated and Aðalbjörn seems to be too buisy to update it. But I decided that I´d rather write the sequel. Fuck convensional bios!
It wasn´t until after two attempts to mix "Í blóði og anda" and three attemts to master it that it was finally ready for release, after doing the artwork with Sigvaldi Jónsson (who also designed this page, and hosts it on his Dordingull site). This was sometime in 2001, and the album was finally released in January 2002. But soon after we lost all contact with Ars Metalli, and it seems that they have gone bankrupt. The result was that "Í blóði og anda" got almost no puplicity on behalf of the label, and seemd to become hard to find just a few months after it´s release.
But we did not let that beet us down, and in February 2002 we recorded a demo of 5 new songs with our friend Sigurgrímur Jónsson. And for the first time Sólstafir recorded as a four pice band, as our longtime friend Sæþór Maríus had joined the band, originally just to do some gigs, in 1999, or soon after we started recording "Í blóði og anda". The intention was originally to give Ars Metalli a taste of our new songs, but as we lost all contact with them it turned into a kind of "unofficial" demo, and was given the name "Black Death: The demo".
Through the marvels of the internet some of those songs got into the ears of Ketzer records and Neodawn productions, and they were eagar to co-release them as a 7"ep. Thus "Black Death: The EP" was released by the two labels in December 2002 and was limited to 500 handnumbered copies.
Since then the situation hasn´t changed alot, Sólstafir have already written enough material for a second full-lenght album and is currently looking for a new record deal.
Guðmundur Óli Pálmason
Aðalbjörn Tryggvason (Guitar, Vocals)
Guðmundur Óli Pálmason (Drums)
Svavar Austman (Bass)
Sæþór M. Sæþórsson (Guitar)
"Í Norðri" (Demo 1995)
"Til Valhallar" (MCD 1996)
"Promo Tape September 1997"
"Unofficial promo 1998"
"Í Blóði og Anda" (CD 2002)
"Black Death: The Demo" (2002)
"Black Death: The EP" 7" (2002)
"Til Valhallar" (Russian Re-release 2003)
Официальный сайт: http://www.solstafir.net
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