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Bellatrix

also known in Iceland as Kolrassa Krókríδandi


Country of origin:

Iceland

Type of music generally:

Strange, experimental alternative over-the-top rock; later music is less experimental and more pop

Status:

Final release, it's all true (2000)

See also:

Bellatrix's MySpace page

Wikipedia's entry on Bellatrix

All Music's Bellatrix info

An Icelandic music info page Elíza M. Geirsdóttir now records as Eliza Newman (MySpace page, facebook page)

Comparisons:

Mix Björk, Miranda Sex Garden, Kristeen Young, and Siouxsie & The Banshees and you might come somewhere near approaching Bellatrix. (Neile)

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Wild, strange, as off-the-wall as their Icelandic compatriate Björk in her wilder moments, and the extravagance of the vocals are slightly reminiscent of her, but the sound is much harder rock, though the compositions are just as creative and individual. Really noisy and weird and fun rock with matching vocals and violin. A distinctive, unique, and lively rock sound. It's hard to know what to say about them except how different they are. It took me a lot of listening to really love their sound (I found it noisy at first) but now I adore it. Their newer work is much more accessible, but still edgy and wild. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

it's all true is probably the most accessible and available, but my favourite is Kynjasögur/Stranger Tales by far. (Neile)

Recordings:


drápa ep (Old Poem)

Released as by Kolrassa Krókrídandi

Release info:

1992—smekkleysa (Iceland)—29

Availability:

Iceland

Ecto priority:

Recommended if Bellatrix interests you

Comments:

Even from this early a date the band's individual sound was fully developed. This is just as good as their later releases. (Neile)

Kynjasögur/Stranger Tales

Release info:

Kynjasögur (released as by Kolrassa Krókrídandi): 1994—smekkleysa sm.hf—SM47CD

Stranger Tales: 1995—Bad Taste Ltd—BT 002 CD

Availability:

Kynjasögur: Iceland

Stranger Tales: U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of loud and strange rock

Group members:

Elíza M. Geirsdóttir—vocals, violin
Ester "Bibi" Ásgeirsdóttir—bass, voice
Sigrún Eiríksdóttir—guitar, voice
Anna Margrét Hraundal—guitar, voice
Karl Ágúst Gudmundsson—drums, percussion, voice

Comments:

This album was released in Iceland as Kynjasögur by Kolrassa Krókrídandi and later rerecorded with vocals in English as Stranger Tales by Bellatrix. Same band, same sound, vocals in different languages and different band names. Not dancey at all—amazing vocal rock. This is strong stuff and takes some listening to appreciate, but I love both versions of this album. (Neile)

Köld Eru Kvennarád (Don't Trust Plotting Women)

Released as by Kolrassa Krókrídandi

Release info:

1996—smekkleysa sm/ehf

Availability:

Iceland

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of creative loud rock

Group members:

Eliza Marí Geirsdóttir—sögur, fidla, raddir & hljómbord
Anna Margrét Hraundal—gítar, kór
Sigrún Eirikdóttir—gítar, kór
Ester "Bibi" Ásgeirsdóttir—bassi,kór
Karl Ágúst Gudmundsson—trommur, slagverk, kór

Guest artists:

Sigtryggur Baldursson—slagverk, klapp, gledigjafi
Dave Crawford—horn

Comments:

The overall sound of this one is just a little tamer than Kynjasögur/Stranger Tales but I doubt the uninitiated would notice. This is a wonderful album. (Neile)

G ep

Release info:

1998—Global Warming Records—Glob cd3

Availability:

U.K. and probably Iceland

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of edgy rock

Group members:

Eliza—vocals, violin
Anna Margret—guitar
Sigrun—guitar, keyboard
Ester—bass
Karl Agust—drums

Produced by:

Bellatrix

Comments:

Their new sound here is still driving, but more toned down yet. Listeners who weren't familiar with their previous releases wouldn't consider them toned down, but in comparison to those releases these are quite straightforward rock songs. This is most apparent in "Sleeping Beauty", a song that also appears on Kynjasögur/Stranger Tales in a much more over-the-top version. This is powerful rock, but nowhere near as powerful as the earlier versions. "Ikarus", also a repeat from Kynjasögur/Stranger Tales is better preserved because of the powerful violin line. I'm disappointed in this development, but I'm sure it will win them more fans, and they're not exactly tamed, nor have they gone pop yet. Songs like "Great Expectations" make it clear that they still can be noisy, edgy, and energetic. (Neile)

it's all true

Release info:

2000—fierce panda (U.K.)

Availability:

See fierce panda website for availability

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of edgier pop

Group members:

Kalli—drums, percussion, programming
Kidda—bass
Eliza—vocals, violin, keyboards, percussion
Anna Magga—lead & rhythm guitar
Sigrun—keyboards & rhythm guitar

Guest artists:

Jane Pickup—string arrangement on 2 tracks, string quartet on 2 tracks
Jini, Ann Stephenson, Jonathan Truscott—string quartet on 2 tracks
Northern Light Orachestra—programming on 2 tracks

Produced by:

Dan Swift

Comments:

I was really disappointed when I first got this as it seemed so amazingly pop compared to their earlier efforts, and indeed there are moments when the music on this albums has an almost bubblegum pop flavour, but overall it's still very Bellatrix: edgy, raspy pop. They're not quite as weird and certainly way way more bouncy. No more wild shrieking, horrendously loud guitars, weird vocalizations and strange song structures. Since moving to England and no longer using their Icelandic name, they have smoothed their wild edges and gone more mainstream. Alas! Give me Stranger Tales, perferably in its Icelandic version, anyday. But they're Bellatrix. (Neile)

Less quirky than I'd hoped they'd be. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)


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Entry last updated 2012-10-06 21:54:29.
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