Seidr’s expansive and ominous 2011 debut For Winter Fire had all the portent and grandeur of a viking funeral. No, not like Amon Amarth — For Winter Fire isn’t an RPG soundtrack or a set of gym jams. It’s serious and transporting; it’s an album made for wilderness exploration and solitary meditation. It was one of that year’s best metal records, a potent blend of doom, sludge, ambient black metal, and folk. Now the band is set to release its follow-up, and while “bigger” or even frankly “better” are unfair expectations, considering the size, scope, and power of the debut, the forthcoming Ginnungagap (recorded by Krallice’s Colin Marston) does much to evolve and advance Seidr’s mighty sound. Comprising Austin Lunn (also of Panopticon) and Wesley Crow (Wheels Within Wheels) alongside Adam Nicholson and John Kerr, Seidr comes from the same Louisville scene that produced another of 2013’s finest metal releases, Anagnorisis’s Beyond All Light (Lunn was a founding member of Anagnorisis before departing the band in 2008). And while Beyond All Light‘s crusty blackened rage has little in common with Ginnungagap‘s empyrean might, both records share a welcoming earthiness and strong melodic underpinnings that invite the listener to explore further and subsequently transport him somewhere else altogether. We’re streaming Ginnungagap‘s second song, “The Pillars Of Creation,” which opens in an empty, echoing field of post-rock guitars, and travels wordlessly to a kingdom of climactic doom riffs and low-croaked vocals; when the two sounds converge, the song rockets upward and entirely away from its earthbound origins. Listen.