Sólstafir is an Icelandic metal band, formed in 1995. The band's name is the Icelandic word for crepuscular rays.
The band's unique style has made it hard to categorize Sólstafir into a specific genre or group of genres.Sólstafir were formed by 3 friends, Aðalbjörn Tryggvason, Halldór Einarsson and Guðmundur Óli Pálmason in January 1995.Later that year the band recorded it's first demo tape 'Í Norðri' and at the end of the year the band hit the studio again to record what was to become the second demo 'Til Valhallar'.
'Til Valhallar' was never released as a demo though and 4 of the 6 songs were released as a MCD by View Beyond Records. It was later re-released in 2002 with all the 6 songs.
In 1999 Sólstafir entered the studio to record it's debut full length album. By that time Halldór had left the band and in 1997 and 1998 Sólstafir had released two promos as a two piece.
For the recording of the debut full length Sólstafir had recruted Svavar Austmann as Halldór's replacement.
Although the recording of 'Í Blóði og Anda' had started in 1999 the album wasn't released until 2002, due to endless delays and mishaps, the band truly believed they were cursed.
In the meantime Sólstafir started playing live shows in Iceland, and for that had added a second guitar player, one Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson.
So for the first time as a four piece, Sólstafir recorded a new demo in 2002, eventually releasing 3 songs as Black Death: The EP.
In 2004 the band began working on the follow up to 'Í Blóði og Anda' on their own with the help of a good friend. Although Sólstafir were becoming a quite well known name in the European metal underground the band found themselves without a recording label. Thus, the band decided to release 3 of the songs from the album as a limited edition promo to send around to labels. This, and a gig in Denmark (the band's first outside of Iceland) ensured the band a deal with Spinefarm Records.
It was becoming clear by now that Sólstafir were a force to be reckoned with live in concert.
Sólstafir released 'Masterpiece of Bitterness' through Spinefarm in 2005. The album got exceptionally good reviews almost everywhere and the band kept on making a really good name for themselves with really powerful live performances.
In December 2007 the band traveled to Göteborg, Sweden to record their third full length, "Köld."
'Köld' was released in early 2009 and like 'Masterpiece...' it not only got exceptionally good reviews, but most critics also had a hard time pinpointing Sólstafir's music into a specific genre. Descriptions like 'Sounds Like The Hellacopters if they went to art school and did a lot of Valium', 'Imagine if Nachtmystium, Alice In Chains, and Neurosis got hammered while listening to Entombed's DCLXVI - To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak The Truth - it would sound something like this' and 'Sigur Rós goes metal!' were becoming really common.
Meanwhile Sólstafir kept getting equally as good reviews for their live shows all across mainland Europe and have played on many of Europe's biggest festivals including Roskilde Festival, Wacken Open Air, Summer-Breeze Open Air, Party San Open Air, Hole in the Sky Festival.
Sólstafir have also done two full European tours in 2009 and 2010 as well as a few shorter ones.
Sólstafir's 4th full length album, entitled "Svartir Sandar" was released on Season of Mist October the 14th 2011 in Europe, and October the 18th in the USA.
The album got exceptionally good reviews and was voted album of the year in a few esteemed publications such as Finland's biggest metal magazine, Inferno, Germany's Metal.de and Iceland's biggest newspaper Morgunblaðið. It was also woted the best heavy album of the year in Finland's biggest music magazine, Soundi.
For the first time Sólstafir also entered the charts, and "Svartir Sandar" topped at no. 7 in Iceland and at no. 11 in Finland.
The song "Fjara" also entered the single charts and topped at no. 1 in Iceland.