Let us introduce you to something Icelandic but not of Black Death nature!
No, we haven’t seen it all yet!
The Icelandic scene has been highly active since years and years now, and same as in lots of destinations where the sound has a special frequency, Iceland has been kicking us in the ears since a long time now, and recently through NYIÞ.
Bandcamp team wrote a nice piece on Icelandic metal bands titled as “Ten Bands Setting Iceland’s Black Metal Scene Ablaze”, where they weirdly highlighted nine bands only in addition to leaving out a vital act as Svartidauði off the post, and possibly more.
Anyway, that is not the thing, the point is that we are fascinated by the sound of lots of Icelandic bands, and at the time we thought we have witnessed most of it; Iceland throws an under-the-sleeve card at us, an interesting card called NYIÞ.
Who is NYIÞ?
Vagueness covers the band’s history and vision, with not too much resources anywhere. The band has a Facebook page under the entity of Religious organization. NYIÞ releases are also listed under their Bandcamp page comprising five releases so far.
The band has also teamed up with the Australian Old Burial Temple, the collaboration that resulted in a split produced by the Portuguese label Signal Rex.
NYIÞ were seen live during the Icelandic Oration MMXVIII, at least in 2018 and 2019, as well as at Eistnaflug and Roadburn, and perhaps even in more happenings and locations. It seems that the group’s performance provoked interest and possibly a lot of question marks too, at least this is what we could sense.
A genre for NYIÞ, you asked?
You will find many classifying the band’s sound as dark jazz, while others claim it belongs to the ritualistic folk genre, but like always; this goes back to the listener’s ear, background, experience, as well as other factors.
For instance, well known British NTS online music entity had NYIÞ on one of their podcasts, and straight-forwardly classified their sound as ritual ambient dark folk.
From our personal perspective, we are not after labeling a sound, but if you would like to weigh things, then we have just given you a glimpse of what listeners said.
Music in Witchcraft and The Occult: An Anthology
NYIÞ’s contribution to art does not stop at their sound or performance, but it extends further than that.
It seems that Ekki Neinn of NYIÞ has participated in writing a segment in a book that was published by the esoteric and occult book publishing house, Aeon Sophia Press.
The limited-edition book is titled as Music in Witchcraft and The Occult: An Anthology, and is available for sale via Aeon Sophia Press and Cyclic Law. Ekki Neinn‘s participation in the book is apparently through the chapter that carries the title The Guerilla Occultism of NYIÞ by NYIÞ.
The Netherlands-based publishing house’s book focuses on the usage of music and musical instruments within the modes of occult ritual practices and witchcraft. The book features a variety of essays that revolve around music and its place in the occult and vice versa.
Testimonies on NYIÞ
We have collected some words here and there, to give you an insight to the feedback after witnessing NYIÞ, here is some of them below.
Markov Soroka, founder of the bands Aureole, Drown and Tchornobog, and member of Krukh expressed the experience in these words.
I really am into a lot of the dark jazz stuff that’s been circulating around. For instance, when I visited Iceland, I was able to work with a dark ambient band called NYIÞ. They play a lot in the Black Metal circles, but it’s quite theatrical, dark ambient stuff. It’s not straying too far from metal, but I absolutely love experimenting with sounds from different genres.
In 2013, Icelandic black metal band Carpe Noctem vocalist Alexander Dan Vilhjalmsson gave an interview to Metal Temple webzine where he also talked about NYIÞ saying:
One of the most powerful musical projects happening in Iceland right now is NYIÞ. Both their releases and live performances are immensely powerful.
Another review revolving around the Icelandic mighty happening Oration MMXVIII on a Dutch webzine also mentioned NYIÞ and their ritualistic performance and sound saying:
In front of the stage a modest altar is prepared, consisting of skulls, chalices and a book of runes, such as ‘Stafur til að vekja upp draug’ – the magic rune to invoke spirits and raise the dead. All is set up for NYIÞ’s remarkable ritual that opens Oration. Hybrid drones of string instruments, guitar feedback and percussion are the foundation of this compelling performance. After the front-man has collapsed and is resurrected again, a heartbeat is the only sound that remains when the collective vacates the stage, leaving the audience awestruck.
We stopped at that phrase that said: “After the front-man has collapsed and is resurrected again, a heartbeat is the only sound that remains when the collective vacates the stage, leaving the audience awestruck”.
We have watched NYIÞ’s forty-plus-minutes performance taped on video on YouTube, and it seems that such an action was close to being witnessed there. The performance was in connection to the Myrkraverk art exhibition and was recorded at Kjarvalsstaðir on February 2nd 2018.
Stranger Aeons webzine also described the sound of NYIÞ with the following words:
Ever crack or sound becomes a frightening disturbance, any shift a landslide. That is the power of minimalism and ritual music.
Keep an eye
So where does all of this take us? Well, we thought to share with you what we think can be interesting and eye opening to you; we ourselves, are still discovering more and more about NYIÞ, and we thought we should share this with you.
And as a final insight to what you might experience if you hadn’t before we talked you into this, here is NYIÞ performing a Samhain rite in 2015 with location unknown.
We would like to thank Extremmetal.se for loaning us perfectly shot images of NYIÞ. A shout out to the great photographer Soile Siirtola!
And we would like to thank you for taking the time to read this, and we hope we might have raised your interest to know more about this different sounding entity called NYIÞ.