Hamferð – Támsins Likam (2018) REVIEW

As death and doom metal permutations have evolved back into modern depressive extreme metal fashion so comes a litany of exceptional takes on the style from new and inspiring young bands. Hamferð’s dramatic epic doom metal style is phenomenally enhanced by slithering alternating turns of Ceremonium style death/doom. Yet where ‘Into the Autumn Shade’ rested on Paradise Lost‘s ‘Lost Paradise’ deathly laurels, Hamferð draws equally from Mar De Grises and Candlemass for thick riffing and ringing guitars. Yet, the death metal elements amount to window dressing to showcase the phenomenal vocalist’s range and ‘Támsins likam’ is lead by his performance while the guitars largely serve as atmospheric direction.

It is an album of well-balanced highs and lows that builds a mountain of heaviness between “Tvístevndur meldur” and “Hon syndrast” with the peaking middle showcase of “Frostvarv”. The vocal performance here is a mix of a crooning ethereal tone similar to Einar Solberg, vocalist of prog-metal band Leprous, and an almost Icelandic vibrato most similar to Sólstafir singer Aðalbjörn Tryggvason. The vocals appear largely patterned after Candlemass‘ heaviest dirges and something slightly less brooding like Anathema‘s ‘Eternity’ album though the songwriting is far from old school heavy metal in structure.

I suppose what keeps ‘Támsins likam’ from achieving perfection for my taste lies in their somewhat shapeless treatment of death/doom elements. While the album is increasingly muscular as it progresses they aren’t hitting upon the raw boogie of doom metal and the drummer is perhaps more interested in showcasing his skills in the post-metal realm rather than death metal.  The epic doom metal side of Hamferð grows listless and anxious as they end things on a very flat 11 minute crooner “Vápn í anda’ which misses it’s ‘Watching in the Distance’ moment by a mile without a discernible hook within their hand-wringing misery. It sums up my feelings on the record where I’m unbelievably impressed by this album yet also frustrated by it’s seeming avoidance of catchy, memorable moments.

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Artist Hamferð
Type Album
Released January 12, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp! Follow Hamferð on Facebook
Genres

And the fog took you. 4.5/5.0

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