Minus - The Great Northern Whalekill
Max Flintoff 25/02/2008
My knowledge of Icelandic music stops at Sigur Ros, which I personally love but it's not exactly the heaviest of music so I was surprised when I first heard the opening track on Minus' 4th Album 'The Great Northern Whalekill' called 'Cat's Eyes' which hits you with everything this band has got. From the first listen I was very ashamed of myself for not having heard of this band before, they've been around for the last ten years and if this album is anything to go by then they are one of the most important rock bands in the world.
Hiding among the sheer loudness of the music that Minus are creating is a very important message that they are trying to convey, the album title itself 'The Great Northern Whalekill' is a statement against the whaling situation in Iceland as well as being a homage to one of their key influences: Pantera and their album 'The Great Southern Trendkill.' Their lyrics are also incredibly clever, sometimes enigmatic and sometimes displaying an overt tone or emotion, this is only heightened by the singing of lead vocalist Krummi, he provides a slightly tortured strain to the music. Increasing both it's impact and the effectiveness of the message. So the music is political but it at least doesn't sacrifice any of the enjoyment or excitement that comes from playing such loud and interesting music.
With an album that is this strong from start to finish and a musical career that seems to be the same it is a massive surprise to me that Minus are not more well known and I hope that 2008 will be a great year for them. As for this album it is well worth buying to know that there are still brilliantly creative musicians out there doing something original.