Logn
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Logn

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Reviewing splits is, for me, a rather daunting task to tackle. It's hard to make them sound like they are not opposite sides fighting each other over a prize. The prize being the listener. Who will win? It's a silly notion, I know, and I like to distance myself from it but most talks one has with other nerds about any given split release ends up in sentiments that pretty much come of as "yeah, the blue corner won". But I'm happy to write about any split sent to me for a review, just like this one that found its way into my mailbox of darkness. One band is focused as all hell but as a consequence, the other one feels bereft of it.

To say that LOGN bursts out of the gate would be an understatement. Exploding out of the gate is more like it, in a true Nasum fashion, both guns grinding, with an evil yet instantly memorable main riff plus a early Minus-esque bridge (the song is too short for a proper bridge though) and it's over in little over a minute. Song two Óþreyja follows quickly and crushes even quicker. The tempo is slower, heavy on the back-beat that forces you to bang your head, hard. Then the cold and deranged sounding chorus adds a different layer to the song but corresponds really nicely to the aforementioned verse-music. The high notes used from here on in, bring the song a nasty yet catchy edge. The drumming also stands out, not being too busy for the songs own sake, but busy nonetheless. There's no real pause before next song Andlát hinna fordæmdu kicks in via nice transition. First I thought this was the same song still going. Starts with a noisy bass breakdown that is followed by a tank-like charge of an heavy ass riff and pummeling drumming, creating a brutal groove that is hard to stand still to. This sandwich of two songs is LOGN's highlight on this release. Despite two-speed drumming and nice percussive ideas, Grotnun okkar is too messy to really take off, due to shaky guitar work and awkwardly timed vocals in parts. Gotta give points to the brief Sororicide worship found therein.

Aside from everything already mentioned, I tip my hat to LOGN because, for a debut recording that is essentially a demo, really, plus a very young age (my guess the oldest member being 16) - this is a frighteningly focused and well executed effort and the majority of the music is not only promising, but simply fucking good. My only proper complaints are the blandness of the vocals but the voice is evil, desperate and fitting and some riffs are hard to make out do to the sound in the mix and maybe a tad too bussy riffage for such young players.
For fans of raging extreme music in the vein of Nasum, Artimus Pyle, Trap Them to name but a few... Watch this space.

MANSLAUGHTER is a different kettle entirely although (still)existing in the extreme metal strata. Here the focus is clearly lacking, which is evident in how the songs end, or the lack of direction as to how to finish the songs. Too many endings and parts just fizzle out into nothingness which leads me too believe these compositions and recorded efforts are not very serious. That's all good. The boys are having fun. The band is made up from members in young but distinguished bands like Plastic Gods, Muck and Severed Crotch. They are no strangers to good stuff. But you cannot really hear that. The performance is loose to the point it (as something to enjoy in the comfort of your own home) loses its charm. Reckless performances often work wonders but this one doesn't quite cut it.
All this being said there are some noteworthy elements to pick out of this dirty hefty bag of heavy influences and substance abuse. There's moments of crust, sludge and dope metal ala Iron Monkey and Soilent Green. The two vocalist approach is a nice idea but they don't work their angles enough in order to grant the music with more dynamic and clearly distinguishable voice differences. Granted, both voices are kick ass. The guitar and bass are so dirty and fucked that they are de-tuned here and there. Clearly they don't give a flying fuck, but the guitar sound is too thin to go the distance.
No doubt we can have fun with this live but I rarely go back to this on CD. With this personnel of players, I'm expecting much better things in the future. - Halifaxcollect


Discography

Logn/Manslaughter split CD - May 9th, 2009 - http://logn.bandcamp.com/album/logn-manslaughter-split-cd

Late 2009 demo - http://logn.bandcamp.com/album/haust-2009

Í fráhvarfi ljóss, myrkrið lifnar við - November 24th, 2011 - http://logn.bandcamp.com/album/fr-hvarfi-lj-ss-myrkri-lifnar-vi

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Bio

LOGN:
–adjective 1. without rough motion; still or nearly still: a calm sea. 2. not windy or stormy: a calm day. 3. free from excitement or passion; tranquil: a calm face; a calm manner.

The idea had been brewing in vocalist Fritz’s fifteen year old head for a while. Like so many other young men his age, he wanted to put together a band with friends - a loud and aggressive one at that. His peer, aspiring drummer Ægir, enrolled in the idea. The objective was to play screamo, albeit dirtier and heavier than one would associate with that sub-genre. Fritz (vocals & bass at the time) remembers, “it was a bass driven train wreck”. It promptly dawned on the duet’s members that a guitar was needed to elevate Logn out of this cruddy trench.

Enter Sindri, an axe wielding death metal enthusiast. Given his sonic drug of choice, stylistic changes soon became apparent in the band. Logn found themselves back at the drawing board. The sound changed dramatically. It became burlier and heavier. Soon the metal fans turned their picky ears to the Logn’s approaching rumble. Interest in the band’s live output grew.

Logn, now a down-tuned trio, were ready to go to war playing their first concert in February 2009. The band fast became a regular fixture at most shows in their home-town, Reykjavík city. If you didn’t book them, they’d book their own gigs – and so it went. Their enthusiasm was tangible. And so was the increasing intensity in their song writing. The boys blasted at such speeds that grindcore became one of the ingredients in their ever-so-tasteful recipe. The attack was such that you’d be forgiven to wonder if the wheels would fall off the wagon. They did not.

Their rigorous practice schedule did not let up and Logn’s tightness grew just as their confidence did.
In May 2009 Logn shared split release with friends Manslaughter (Reykjavík, Iceland). Equal parts metallic crust, powerviolence and dark and raging metalcore in fast-forward, their focus and determination eclipsed other up and coming bands in similar position.

Shortly thereafter, Fritz wanted to loose the bass to concentrate on the vocals. Ægir’s brother, Óðinn, picked up the bass and Logn became a quartet and better for it. Soon he started barking in the back as “second vocals”. More means of attack.
Another split came to fruition with Reykjavik’s eccentrics Eðli Annara. Fritz’s vocal pitch deepened and the crust was more evident than before. Pretty it was not.

November 2011 saw the release of their debut full-length, after a year and a half in the making. If anything, the new material is heavier, grittier and more intricate than ever before. But hard work has resulted in experience and keener songwriting insight, since this debut full-length is likewise more controlled, refined, mature and gripping than past exploits.

In Icelandic, the word logn is used in reference to a calm weather – peace - lull.
The calm veiled a looming threat. A storm is about to ensue.

- Birkir Fjalar Viðarsson