In my 2017 year end review, I mentioned that this album was one that I was looking forward to in the new year. Now I will admit that there are some bands that I listen to who can be considered a little left-field, but Hamferð are one of those bands that are, in my opinion, criminally under-rated.
Despite them having been around for a few year now, this is only their second album and also their first via Metal Blade Records. Evst, their previous album, is in my opinion one the most complete albums I’ve ever listened to so with high hopes, I began listening to this album.
Right from the first few notes of opening song “Fylgisflog” you get the impression that is going to be a ‘sad’ record. The sorrowful baritone singing of vocalist Jón Aldará coupled with the clean guitars creates a feeling of deep regret and mournful sorrow before all hell breaks loose around the 03:55 mark. The demonic growls and Paradise Lost-esque riffing intertwine to continue telling the story of “The Body of the Mist”.
The album continues through many twists and turns, each song telling their own individual chapter of what is a rather sad and reflecting story. Arguably one of my favourite tracks, or chapters, is the fourth track, “Frostharv”. Taking a slightly more reflective tone to start, the clean guitars and vocals are almost haunting despite being somewhat soothing at the same time. I wish I was able to speak Faroese, however instead I will have to be blissfully unaware of what Jón is singing. The video for the track is attached below and in my opinion, fits the music perfectly.
Ending the album, “Vápn í anda”, the longest track on the album I might add, ends the album as it began. An eerie, magnificent display of both ends of the metal spectrum. In a way, both light and dark are represented in this song with both the clean and overdriven sections having both reflective and aggressive elements. Despite it being the longest track on the album, it doesn’t feel like it’s any longer than a standard metal song. Be it the slow tempo or the bands knack for writing truly mesmerising music, the track is easily one of my favourites from the album.
It’s very difficult to put into words what this album is like. Words cannot do it justice and neither can talking about it really. It truly is one of the best pieces of music I’ve had the joy of listening to. You do have to listen to it a few times before you can truly appreciate how much thought has gone into every little element on each track. Sure, it may take some time to “get it”, but once you do… well.
As I said, words cannot do it justice. It’s too early to call it album of the year but stranger things have happened.
Rating: Perfect 10.
Támsins likam is released on the 12th January via Metal Blade Records.