After selling out their limited-to-300 units 7″ vinyl split, Icelandic artists Legend and Solstafir announced last week that they would be re-issuing the two cover tracks on the rarely-used and retro cassingle format. The cassingle format was chosen as a way to release radio masters, which were commissioned to give the tracks a boost on the Icelandic national radio, RUV. The original vinyl masters remain exclusive to the vinyl format but are also available to download from iTunes.
The cassingle edition is limited to 100 copies, of which nearly 80 sold in the first 48 hours. The cassingles come in six different collector colours, each colour chosen by a band-member. The most popular colours, translucent red and turquoise, sold out within hours. Each cassingle also comes with a download coupon, so fans that no longer have a cassette player can listen to the radio masters and compare them to the vinyl masters.
The bands also announced a reprint of their split 7″, this time on translucent green vinyl. The reprinted 7″s come bundled with a cassingle and are not available on their own.
The split 7″ with each band covering the other has proven to be popular with the bands’ fanbases. The Solstafir cover was streamed exclusively on Pitchfork in January, and the Legend cover was streamed exclusively on Last Rites. Following this, Terrorizer held a contest for a free 7″ and streamed both tracks. This week, the release is featured on the front page of iTunes Metal in the United States.
The two artists have often collaborated in the past. Halldor Bjornsson, Legend’s keyboarder, played keyboards on Solstafir’s 2011 album Svartir Sandar (which went to number 7 in Finland and number 1 in Iceland). Bjornsson was also seen in photos posted to Facebook recently collaborating with Solstafir on recording their new album, due out late 2014 on Season of Mist. The artists have also appeared on the same bill at many festivals, including Iceland Airwaves, Eistnaflug, and Reykjavik’s 2012 Anti-Christmas Festival, where Legend’s Krummi got on stage with Solstafir and aided with vocal duties.
[Solstafir’s] cover of Legend’s “Runaway Train” transforms a moody synth-pop tune into a dark, earthy rock number, plumped up by Addi Tryggvason’s arena-ready vocals and a haunting midsection that hints at the band’s Viking obsession with hushed, guttural chanting and muted drums. –Kim Kelly, Pitchfork
LEGEND IN THE PRESS
“The perfect antidote to all that forced holiday jollity.”
—Ben Rayner, The Toronto Star
“Their 2012 record Fearless is a must-have for anyone interested in dark-minded music.”
—Hannah May Kilroy, Terrorizer
“Not only are most of the songs on Fearless dripping with angst, dread and lust, they’re also musically tight and melodically powerful, to the point that I could hardly believe I was listening to a band that formed less than two years ago.”
—Gregory Burkart, FEARnet
“Kinda scary with Golem guest vocals on the first track!”
—Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum)
SOLSTAFIR IN THE PRESS
“A description like ‘post-black metal’ doesn’t even begin to do the album [Svartir Sandar] justice.”
“The atmosphere of bands like Agalloch and Swallow the Sun, the soundscapes of My Bloody Valentine, the riffs of AC/DC and Baroness and the climatic post-rock/post-metal goodness of Jakob and Cult of Luna.”
—Duncan Stuart, Metal Obsession
“An unusual, special experience.”
—Thomas Sonder, Metal Hammer
Legend’s cover of ‘Fjara’: http://lastrit.es/articles/685/legend—fjara
Solstafir’s cover of ‘Runaway Train’: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/16473-runaway-train/
Feb. 14th – Leipzig, DE (with VNV Nation)
Feb. 15th – Goerlitz, DE (with VNV Nation)
Feb. 19th – Nuremberg, DE (with VNV Nation)
Feb. 21st – Schleswig, DE (with VNV Nation)
May 22nd-24th – Toronto, CA (Kinetik Festival)
Aug 22nd-24th – Bradford, UK (Infest Festival)
May 2nd: Karmoyeddon Festival (Haugesund, Norway)
May 22nd: Maryland Deathfest (Baltimore, USA)
May 29th: Out And Loud (Geiselwind, Germany)
June 6th: Rock Hard Festival (Gelsenkirchen, Germany)
June 20th: Hellfest Open Air (Clisson, France)
August 7th: Party-San Open Air (Schlotheim, Germany)
HOME BASE: Reykjavik, Iceland
MEMBERS LEGEND: Krummi Björgvinsson, Halldór A Björnsson, Frosti Jón Runólfsson
MEMBERS SOLSTAFIR: Aðalbjörn Tryggvason, Guðmundur Óli Pálmason, Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson, Svavar Austmann
GENRE: Rock, Metal, Dark-pop