The idea to approach medieval Icelandic literature in a musically and lyrically sophisticated way gave birth to Árstíðir lífsins (“the seasons of life”) which was founded by Stefán (Kerbenok) in 2008. Due to Stefán's earlier experiences, Black Metal was chosen as the musical form, although traditional Folk as well as Ambient were to be incorporated right from the beginning.
Though Black Metal and Folk are the most dominant musical influences in the music of Árstíðir lífsins, several other forms also add their qualities to the final result. Music and lyrics are tightly interwoven and change continously, closely following the story told. That is why harsh, uncompromising Black Metal parts fade into folkloristic choir passages, Ambient elements mix with sound samples of Nature and piano and vibraphone add their characteristics, creating a 70 min entity taking the listener to a harsh, unknown part of Iceland's history full of intrigues and blows of fate. Great care was taken not to include any of nowadays Viking (Metal) clichés in Árstíðir lífsins’ lyrics. Instead, the lyrical content was based on careful research and scientific literature. Hence, on 'Jötunheima dolgferð' life in the days of Iceland’s settlement is presented with all its social and ecological difficulties and not in the misty-eyed way of the Romantic and Victorian Age.
The debut 'Jötunheima dolgferð' was composed in Reykjavík/Iceland between 2008 and 2009 and recorded in several different places in Iceland. The recordings of the drum and violin parts were finished with the help of Árni (Dysthymia); Colin, Kristján and Þórarinn assisted in recording an old Icelandic folk song. Back in Germany, the recordings of the guitar and bass parts were completed and the finishing touches on the vocals were added with support by Georg/Blutaar (Drautran) and Marcél/Skald Draugir (Helrunar) in November 2009. Finally, the mixing process at the CMP-Studio in Wahlstedt/Germany was completed in March 2010 by Stefán and the album was then mastered by Tom Kvålsvoll at Strype Audio Studio (Emperor, Ulver a.o.) in Oslo/Norway in May 2010.