Isafjord – Hjartsatjaki

Isafjord - Hjartastjaki



4.5/5 Pros

  • Very atmospheric writes
  • Great musical skill
  • Very entertaining and versatile

Even though all my visits to the area have been, Isafjordur and the West Fjords are belong my favorite regions in Iceland. The city lead to the band name of a new Icelandic post-rock duo, Isafjord. Their debut album is called Hjartastjaki (“Jack of Hearts”) and has been released on 2nd December 2022.


Isafjord – About The Artists

Isafjord is a new project by Adalbjörn Addi Tryggvason and Ragnar Zolberg. They named the band in line with the home city of both of their father. Tryggvason is known for being a member of Solstafir, while Zolberg has formerly been a Pain Of Salvation member. You should not mix up the name with a 1990’s Norwegian black metal band, by the way.


Isafjord – Hjartastjaki – Track by Track

The eight song album lasts 52 minutes.

1. Falin Skemmd

Falim Skemd (“Hidden Damage”) has been the first single release of the Icelandic act. The song is very slow and atmospheric, but also develops towards a very intense and energetic listen. Nice work with two vocalist and a total duration of over seven minutes.

2. Mín Svarta Hlid

The second track of the album is some two minutes shorter than the opener. However, it works with the same elements: Zolberg and Tryggvason create beautiful sound landscapes. The musical tools they use feel rather basic, but the result is finally overall persuading. Even if you kick yourself for never having learned Nordic languages properly (like I do while listening), you simply love to listen to these guys.

3. Hjartastjaki

The present rhythm gives the title track a slightly stronger pop touch. Again, the Nordics take us with them on an emotional travel. I just listen, enjoy and allow the music to create feelings. Beautiful.

4. Heidin

The title of the fourth track translates to “The Heathen”. Again, the song is melancholic, intense, dramatic. Isafjord create pictures in your mind. From one moment to another, the song changes from an almost threatening atmosphere to a gentle pop song, which could be part of a ballad. Fascinating.

5. Kuldaro

With 6:58 minutes, Kuldaro is just the fourth longest track on the album. The song has a beautiful main chorus and even a rather choir alike part, but majorly has a slow and small character. Nonetheless in the last third of the track, it feels like the electric guitars break free and introduce a very rocking part. Cool.

6. Fjord of Hope

The piano is the dominating instrument in this shortest song of the album (which still means: 4:20 minutes of Isafjord music…). A ballad with beautifully howling guitars and great work on the guitar.

7. Njalssagaa

The last two songs of the album sum up to a total duration of almost 16 minutes. Njalssaga is the longer part of these two songs. The song starts as a slow rocker, but then defines a very atmospheric middle part, which then turns out to become more and more rocking song. A definite treat for guitar lovers.

8. Andvök

If you allow yourself to record a song lasting over seven minutes, you can play it slow. It takes roughly one and a half minute until Addi is joining in from the vocal side. Roughly, a minute later, Andvök surprises with string-alike sounds. Even though the music is overall very slow, it is entertaining – and it does magical things to the listener.


Isafjord – Hjartastjaki – Track by Track

Here is the album on Spotify:


Isafjord – Hjartastjaki – Track by Track

The more I listened to Hjartastjaki, the more I liked it. The duo is creating fascination, magical sounds. The sound landscapes tell stories, which you feel to understand even if you don’t know Icelandic. Eight songs and such a wide range of music – that really feels genius. And thus, it deserves a Top Pick!.


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