EMV JOURNAL #2 – CHARGES AND BALANCE

The universe tends to balance things out. All charges against Decapitated have been formally dropped, but hey, it’s time for good ‘ol Nergal to face charges for allegedly disrespecting a national symbol. Balance. There’s a track called “Bastards”, which seems to be catapulting the level of attention to new, stupefying heights. It’s either a bold move or just plain senseless, we all have an opinion. To complete the controversy, the track comes in a poetry slam version, aiming for crossover potential (or failure). While the world gets dumber by the minute, one has the choice of tuning in to new music, which is what I did, cause I’m very clever that way…

Audrey Horne
Audrey Horne – Blackout

It’s been awhile since I enjoyed a band on the Napalm Records roster. The label is either firing ultra sparkling symphonic gothness, beer throwing folk metal or some edgeless power metal that does nothing for me.

I did have a crush on Audrey Horne, when I was watching Twin Peaks as a youngster, and now the same thing has happened with this Norwegian hardrock band carrying the very same name. Their third album “Blackout” has harvested several “album of the month” awards and they’re living life loud on the tracks that make up the album.

Essentially, this is a party record from start to finish. From the spectacular twin guitar fun of opener and lead single “This Is War” to sassy rock rhythms of “Midnight Man” and let’s not forget the sinful catchiness of the title track, “Blackout” is an immensely entertaining album clocking in at a perfect forty minute run. It’s basically Van Halen meets, Thin Lizzy meets Maiden, and if you’re like me, you’ll be doing a lot of air-guitaring. I guess Norway can produce something else than black metal, even though some of the folks in this band, have a history with said genre, including Arve Isdal of Enslaved, a true guitar hero on this record. I love this album!


 

Corrosion Of Conformity
Corrosion Of Conformity – No Cross No Crown

I’m not an expert on C.O.C. I’m not even a fan. I know of this band but in my past, I’ve been known wanting to tarnish all good reputation associated with tags such as “Southern Metal” or “Sludge”. It’s a different story today. I decided it was time to hear what the fuzz was all about, since C.O.C. is considered an institution when it comes to groove laden, blues oriented metal.

This is a riff album but there’s plenty of variety. Whether it’s a full on, hard-hitting anthem like “Cast The First Stone” or the more “doomy” and trippy Black Sabbath moments of a lengthier track like “Nothing Left To Say”, the band’s groove-meter is always set to “hell yeah”! “Wolf Named Crow” is already a favorite, been playing this one every day since the album came out. The vocals change between pseudo-drunken barks and very soulful singing, as displayed on the chorus of “Little Man”, highly complimentary to the music.

Expectations were high because of the return of Pepper Keenan, once again initiating the “classic line-up” of the band. Sadly though, I feel the album’s too long, almost an hour in duration. The songs themselves are great but there are too many segues between them, this has been mentioned before. Oh well, at least now I’m curious to dig further into their catalog!


 

Hamferd
Hamferð – Támsins likam

Týr have been flying the flag of Faroese metal for two decades and seven albums. It’s a small place, The Faroe Islands, but there’s plenty of music being produced and performed across a wide range of genres, including metal.

Hamferð have been playing and perfecting their own brand of doom metal with conceptual narratives for ten years and three releases. Yes, you’ve probably seen the solar eclipse video, the church video and all that, if not, there’s youtube. They’re a trailblazing bunch, that’s much is certain. The band’s latest release, “Támsins likam” (translation: “body of fog”) closes a sorrowful story that spans over three releases, a trilogy if you will, the twist being that the story goes backwards. So “Támsins likam” is actually the beginning of the story, and it’s all sung in Faroese, which does have an enormous enchanting effect in my opinion.

Musically, it doesn’t get much more epic, refined, elusive and authentic, as far as conceptual art goes. This is an album that requires multiple listens as with most pieces that are grand in scope. Doom metal is a credible albeit also a lazy description for the music found on the album. The brooding openings of “Fylgisflog”, ” the riveting dynamics of “Hon syndrast” and the fragile atmospherics within “Frosthvarv”, (also the band’s first video), showcase impressive, delicate songwriting. Soaring above it all is Jón Aldará, expressing folklore inspired tragedies through his haunting vocal melodies and truly ominous, inhuman growls. As the Brits would say, this one’s a corker!


 

tenor


Svartmálm teaser

I thought I’d include this here, since I’ve been excited from day one. Svartmálm, originally Svartideyði, are an interesting formation of musical entities coming together to create otherworldly metal soundscapes ranging from black, drone, doom and psychedelia. On stage, it’s a cleansing experience of trudging black metal, ritual noise and progressive flow. Highly recommend to witness live.

They are prepping their first release, a self-titled album, which will see a digital release through Tutl Records on 02. February. For now, there’s a mysterious sneak peek below. Also check out the track “Deytt ljós”, captured at G! Festival in 2016. I’ve written a bunch of stuff about this band, so if you’re curious, you can find the links below.

 

That’s eerie right? Keep checking back to this page, there’ll be more about Svartmálm (that’s “black metal” in Faroese tongue btw) in the coming weeks, as they’ll be playing a gig together with Solbrud in February. More on that later!

Svartmálm links:
Deytt ljós write up
Svartmálm interview

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