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”Perhaps the greatest faculty our minds possess is the ability to cope with pain. Classic thinking teaches us of the four doors of the mind, which everyone moves through according to their need…”

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The words come from ‘The Name of the Wind’, the first book in fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss’s excellent ‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ series. They’re also the first words spoken on the eponymous opening track of Icelandic post/black metal outfit Dynfari’s forthcoming full-length The Four Doors of the Mind. On it, the band combine elements of Rothfuss’s writings and the works of early 20th century existential poet Jóhann Sigurjónsson to guide the listener through each of the four doors: Sleep, Forgetting, Madness and Death.

Given the esoteric nature of the lyrics, one might reasonably expect an equally avant-garde musical approach, but Dynfari tend more towards the folk end of the black metal spectrum than the Dødheimsgard wing. They spike their more traditional, highly melodic black metal with a liberal dose of acoustic instruments like accordion, flute and bouzouki, giving the album a more meditative feel. Tracks like “1st Door: Sleep” and “4th Door: Death” bring to mind both Opeth at their mellowest and Agalloch at their most driving, while the record’s acoustic tracks have vibes closer to Ulver’s Kveldssanger or, in the case of the delicately fingerpicked “”Sorg,” Pink Floyd’s “Goodbye Blue Sky.” The dramatic album highlight “Sorgarefni segi eg þér” starts off in a Sisters of Mercy-esque gothic/post-punk vein before opening up into more expansive post-black territory in its second half.

While Dynfari’s style may change slightly from one track to the next, the end results remain consistently stunning. The Four Doors of the Mind is a beautiful, surprisingly moving album that should garner some serious consideration when year-end honors time rolls around. It will be available on April 27 via Aural Music/Code666 Records. In the interim, enjoy our exclusive stream below.

Clayton Michaels

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