Reykjavik’s Sólstafir were back in the UK at last. The band have become a regular fixture over here and for good reason. They have become a spell binding, powerful force in metal music who are constantly evolving and challenging themselves and their fans. Returning to one of the best venues in the UK, the Colchester Arts Centre and the band’s sound are a match made in heaven for what ws an eventful night.
Tropic of Xhao is a 3-piece psych band led by singer/guitarist Lulah Belle, backed up by Connor on synth bass and organ/keys and various live drummers. Tonight they put on a mighty support slot, playing music that was experimental and boundary-pushing. It would be easy to write them off as stoner rock or prog rock but there were so many layers to their music it was hard to pin them down. For the short time they had on stage, they impressed me.
One of the reasons for Sólstafir’s success is their dynamic sound. They blend heavy metal with soaring, beautiful melodies with a strong undercurrent of psychedelic rock producing moments of pure wonder. The band played a captivating ten-song set that complemented the acoustics of the venue. I could not believe the beauty I was watching, it was jaw-dropping. But the most touching moment of the set was when Addi from the band dedicated the emotional ‘Necrologue’ to a recent friend who took their own life, delivering a powerful message about the importance of mental health care. Finishing with ‘Pale Rider’ ‘Fjara’ and ‘Goddess of the Ages’, the band simply performed a set that will be talked about for ages.