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In Norse mythology, “Ginnungagap” was the formless void that existed before anything came into being. It was a seething chaos of ice and fire that ultimately coalesced into the elements that birthed our human world. On their second full length, so named after this legendary void, Minnesota/Kentucky-based Nordic doom quartet Seidr return to their previous explorations of Nordic symbolism and legend, but this time from a different angle. Where their first album, For Winter Fire, adapted Nordic tropes to fit with lyrics about personal experiences and emotions, Seidr aims even higher on Ginnungagap by approaching the questions of the cosmos from such an angle. Much like founding member Austin Lunn’s solo project, Panopticon, Seidr has slowly been evolving from a straightforward genre exercise into something bigger, something with more philosophical nuance and musical heft.

There is also sonic expansion as much as there is lyrical and philosophical expansion. When the first track, “A Blink Of The Cosmic Eye” came on, it seemed to me almost like Acid Mothers Temple collaborating with Sunn O))), a sound with continues for over eleven minutes before breaking into more standard metal. Seidr’s sound has always revolved around the interplay between guitarists Lunn and Wesley Crow (of Wheels Within Wheels), and on this album that relationship is taken to a new level. These two men have spent much time playing together, and they’ve become comfortable in their partnership: one will lay down a riff while the other plays notes or both will use effects to fade in and out across each other, but whatever the sound, it is clear that there is strategy and cooperation at work. Reverb and delay effects add to the feeling of staring into an ever-expanding night sky, a limitless sound for a limitless void. All in all, it’s pretty psychedelic. Turn on your mind, relax, and become one with the universe.

Stream "A Blink Of The Cosmic Eye" below. Seidr will release Ginnungagap on September 16 via Bindrune Recordings.

Rhys Williams

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