Novarupta is part solo project, part musical collective, and part art piece. As the creation of Alex Stjernfeldt, Novarupta is currently through a tetralogy of albums based on the four elements. ‘Disillusioned Fire’ and ‘Marine Snow’ represent the first two elements – fire and water, respectively.
Musically, Novarupta is a unique and exciting listen. While ‘Disillusioned Fire’ is quite a sludgy affair, with trudging rhythms and powerful riffs, ‘Marine Snow’ takes this sound and expands it with a strong post-rock vibe. Stjernfeldt is able to make the two albums sound like parts of the same story, while working within the sounds in a way that gives them their own distinct characters. This really amplifies the concept of the four elements – or at least the two we have at the time of writing.
To bring these tracks to life, Stjernfeldt calls upon a fantastic range of celebrated vocalists, clearly carefully chose to build upon the sonic themes present on each album. In heavier, sludgier songs we get roars and growls like Mikael from Dark Tranquility, but then the gentler, post-rock leaning tracks are really brought to life by powerful cleaning voices, like Martin Persner.
The most exciting thing about Novarupta is not the distinct character of each album while still delivering a cohesive and consistently amazing album. It’s the fact we are guaranteed two more albums in this series, and I honestly can’t wait.