They’re the BDSM techno-punk band who gave Iceland its only top ten placement of the past decade at Eurovision 2019. Now, after seven long months, Hatari finally have something to show for their hard post-Eurovision work. On Friday, they dropped their debut album Neyslutrans (Consumption Trance).
The album consists of 13 songs, totalling 48 minutes in length. It talks betrayal, dystopia and coping with loss, as well as the regular dose of hate for capitalism. The LP is almost entirely in Icelandic, with one track in Latin.
Hatari – Neyslutrans
Neyslutrans: Track by track
The first song on the album is “Engin Miskunn”, which Hatari premiered live in Reykjavík in May 2019. While fans were able to watch live recordings of the song, now they finally have the studio version to listen to in all its glory.
Tracks two through four are the three singles the Icelanders released this year: “Spillingardans”, “Klámstrákur” and “Klefi / Samed”. Track two includes the title of the album in the opening verse: “All nations everywhere dance this waltz. / Consumption trance, of greed and extravagance”.
Track number five, “Þræll”, has more to offer than an utterly unpronounceable name (something like “thraiytl”). The song, whose title translates to “Slave”, sees Klemens take the centre stage. The soft vocalist tells the story of an abusive relationship from which the protagonist can not escape: “I’m a slave, yes, I know. / Your slave, ready. / Now and then, it hurts. / You punish and sedate me.” These lines allow different views on what metaphor could be hiding in them.
Track number six is “Hlauptu”, a song initially credited to girl band CYBER (feat. Hatari), which originally came out in 2017. The song’s title translates to “Faster” and shows a relationship similar to the one presented in the preceding track, from the enslaver’s perspective. The tracks complement each other, much like Klemens and Matthías’ vocals.
Hatari’s Eurovision entry “Hatrið mun sigra” is seventh on the album, with this version including an additional six seconds of intro.
Track eight, titled “Spectavisti Me Mori, Op. 8”, is an unexpected symphonic instrumental. It balances the heaviness of the first half of the album with its tender violin tune. After its three-minute span comes to an end, it gets slowly distorted and more discordant, phasing into track nine.
Then follows “14 ár”, perhaps the heaviest track on the album. The heavy metal track describes dealing with the experience of deception: “You humiliated me, / again and again. / This story has become familiar”.
Tracks ten and eleven are “Ógleði” (“Nausea”) and “Helvíti” (“Hell”) respectively. While the first of the two shows the original iconic duo’s chemistry, the latter features vocals from a guest rapper, Svarti Laxness. “Helvíti” also includes some moaning realness from Klemens and, perhaps, a subtle sample from Imagine Dragons’ “Natural”.
Track number twelve, “Nunquam Iterum”, is similar in essence to “Spectavisti Me Mori, Op. 8”, with a choir singing mellowly in Latin until the final seconds. Then, the stabbing synths regularly found in Hatari songs kick in.
This smoothly leads to the closing track of the album, “Niðurlút” (“Downcast”), featuring indie-pop singer GDRN. This track talks trust issues in a relationship with rather poetic lyrics: “The story ends far too soon. / You never bid me good night. / In silence you came and silent you left”.
How do you feel about Neyslutrans? What do you think is the best song of the album? Tell us what your thoughts in the comments!