This is the second full-length release by Iceland's Reykjavík!, the follow-up to 2006's immense Glacial Landscapes, Religion, Oppression & Alcohol (recorded by Valgeir Sigurdsson, and released on 12 Tónar), which became an instant classic and had everyone in Iceland from the age of 5 to 105 throwing chairs at each other for recreation. The press also loved it, voting it the album of 2006 in close to every poll at the end of the year. Still crazy as fuck, but twice as powerful and even more experimental, The Blood takes Reykjavík! a step beyond. This record is tight, thunderously dark and deceptive -- starting off harmlessly enough with ambient drum and feedback, then absolutely exploding with a chorus of screams and black riffage. Through the seemingly up-beat "Repticon," to the swinging "Campo Viejo, 2004" and ending with the cheerful yet uneasy "Random Acts," Reykjavík! turns out to be harder, faster and, quite frankly, better than on their famous first album. This powerful gem of a sophomore record will leave new fans and old in an ecstatic frenzy, while untrained listeners might be left with a permanent spasmodic twitch. The band has a wonderful gift for creating short and nasty songs filled with noise, shouts, chaos and war that are somehow, mysteriously and completely inexplicably, catchy. For example, the chundering "Kate Bush" somehow manages to get a clap-track next to some pretty serious death-metal vocal blasts. Reykjavík! also has a reputation for legendary, completely insane concerts where anything goes: fire, blood, and vomit... and somehow, the band has managed to warp this live atmosphere onto The Blood. The result is absolute: an exhilarating, terrible beauty is born which forever destroys the stereotype that all Icelandic musicians are precious, warbling, forest-dwelling elves.