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Solstafir Article

04.08.2018 Solstafir

Wacken Open Air XXIX

Wacken (Germany)

(Pentax K-5 with Sigma AF 70-200mm 2.8 EX DC APO HSM II)

As I am not such a big Halloween fan, who were allowed to rock the Harder Stage with their Pumpkins United show really impressively for roughly 2.5 hours (I watched the rest of the show from the press area) I decided to go for more calm sounds of a small Islandic band.
Like many metal bands of this Wacken Open Air, also they could look back onto a long band history. Already in 1995 three Islander converged to make a maverick but very fascinating mixture of psychedelic and alternative rock. Of them only singer and guitarist Aðalbjörn Tryggvason remained. But that did not do any harm as together with his new allies he is also able to enthuse the masses inside the tent. And they came in big numbers as the tent was completely filled when the musicians first entered the stage and started playing in semi-darkness. It were not the loud sounds that were played but more spherical hypnotical tracks. But just this variation is what provides attraction of Wacken to me. The atmosphere rose and also on stage it got brighter so that that you were able to recognize besides Tryggvason also his band colleagues Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson on guitar, Svavar Austman Traustason on bass and in the background Hallgrímur Jón "Grimsi" Hallgrímsson on drums. Overall between the songs only few words were directed to the audience by the singer and it was good like that as the atmosphere was retained by that across the whole time of playing.
For me it was one of the highlights of this year’s Wacken Open Air. Again and again changing between the soft and sensible sounds over to short powerful explosions Sólstafir showed that they are not without any reason one of the big ones within their genre and this already since nearly 25 years now. So it really was a pitty that they only had one hour available for their set. Only because of the numerous popularity and the good and partially also contemplative atmosphere they should have more time available the next time in each case. I did not have goose bumps only once during the show and can only give the advice to everybody to listen to the band live once.


  • Silfur-Refur
  • Ótta
  • Köld
  • Fjara
  • Bláfjall
  • Goddess Of The Ages