The Icelandic darkwave trio Kaelan Mikla from Reykjavík have made a name for themselves these last few years. Everything started in 2016 when they released their self titled debut on Fabrika records. Since then they have performed live in many countries and were personally picked by The Cure’s frontman Robert Smith to play at the 2018 Meltdown festival in London. This all led up to the release of "Mánadans" that included all their first recordings of what was supposed to be their initial first album. Then they were more of a deathrock/punk/no-wave band with Sólveig Matthildur still on drums before switching to keyboards.

In November 2018, they released their proper second album "Nótt eftir nótt" on the Toronto-based electronic label Artoffact and finds the band at its most confident. The album begins with "Gandreið" a creepy, dark ethereal intro. But things really kick in with the second track "Nornalagið". Here we have one of their characteristic compositions that feature nice synthlines by Sólveig Matthildur on keys, on top of the dark rhythm section provided by Margrét Rósa on bass and their drum machine, while Laufey Soffía on vocals completes the picture with her dark exotic witchlike singing. This is showcased even better on the next track, the wonderfully delightful "Hvernig kemst ég upp?" that is one of the albums standouts. On "Skuggadans" that follows, Sólveig plays keys as if playing the guitar, making it one of the more post-punk tracks of the record. The rhythmic "Draumadís", which also serves as the lead single with its great surreal dark fantasy video clip directed by Logi Hilmarsson, shows how the trio are capable of making great memorable dark atmospheric tunes that can transfer the listener to desolate landscapes. Another song that stands out is "Næturblóm" with Margrét’s bassline paving the way for the nicely textured atmospheric synths and Laufey’s delicate vocal. Whereas on "Andvaka" we get a powerful dark track, full of minimalistic drumming, aggressive bass and vocals of despair. Things slow down on the title track "Nótt eftir nótt", a dark elegy that is produced by the popular Icelandic electronic wizard Bang Gang. The album ends with the atmospheric song "Dáið er allt án drauma" ending this Nordic journey in the North Atlantic, a place defined by its dramatic landscape with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields and massive glaciers.

Review by Nick Drivas