Mot ein evig ruin

At its onset, the third album from Norway’s Blodhemn, (a new act to me) is an odd beast that’s not sure if it wants to be a more enigmatic and off kilter type of black metal akin of Enslaved, or a more vitriolic and melodic entity in the vein of Grafvitnir, and after a while the two styles click and eventually do gel and meld into a more organic style that ends up being pretty good.

Opener “Det gjekk ein faen” initially took me off guard with its Enslaved hopped up on meth stuttering time changes, stop start riffs and mellow injections, but I felt something was brewing. Then with “Døgenikt” the sound starts to click a little more as the duality is a little more fluid and less jarring as the cold, crisp guitars stammer and blast with more subtle and natural blending. The clash of stern Norwegian frost and slicing Swedish melody starts coming together and the album really starts shining.

The 7 longish tracks ( and 1 short intro) last for about 43 minutes and its latter stages hold the most promise as the duality gels. “Østfront” begins with a militant steady Norwegian black metal march that you might hear on a Khold album, before going on a sweet little tangent about 2 minutes in, showing these guys, while certainly versed in first and second wave black metal, march to their own beat. In turn, “Nordhavs speil” shows the band’s grasp of speedy melodic black metal, but with a crafty sneering dissonance undulating underneath.

The last third of the album is where things to really take off. My favorite track “Uante krefter i fra nord” really digs into a more melodic, busy cadence that really imbues Grafvitnir, and really is a surprise that pops up amid  the prior material more jagged, unpredictable pacing and duality, this tone straight shreds and slices Dissection style for its first half, before again delving into more proggy Enslaved ish realms with a seamless transition. “Dra te’ helvete” delivers a raucous, romping almost black thrash black and roll number and closer “Mot Midnatt” ends the album with a controlled and surprisingly somber mid paced number that’s also a simple affair, contrasting the rest of the album’s complexity, again showing how talented and creative Blodhemn can be.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 25th, 2019


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