Hymn, Breach Us review (Fysisk Format 2020)

Hymn is back with Breach Us, a further exploration of the chaos that exists in the sludge.

There are only two members in the Norwegian band Hymn, Ole Ulvik Rokseth on guitars and vocals, and Markus Støle handling drums. The Spartan simplicity of the membership is not obvious in the music, which has a robust and full sound. We might have to categorize the music as doom or sludge, but it is more of a duopoly of heavy inspiration, really, writ large.

Perish was the first album by Hymn, released in 2017. It is a dramatic piece of adventure, like scaling a mountain in a free climb. Breach Us is more polished and refined in all aspects, ranging from the vocals to the compositions themselves, even in the parts that seem improvisational in their rawness.

There are four songs on the new album, and it definitely has a Side 1 and Side 2 feel. “Breach Us” and “Exit Through Fire” are the first couplet, and these songs bear the greatest resemblance to the first album both in the singing and the presentation of the drums and pulsing riffs. Guest appearances by David Johansson and Guro Moe add greater depth and broader reach to the second two entries, “Crimson” and “Can I Carry You.” This is especially noticeable on the latter, which has distinct movements in the fourteen and a half minutes of the song that demonstrates shifts in feeling and style. The biggest single presence throughout is the strumming guitar that generates heavy riffs, occasionally perpendicular to each other. There is a pliant verisimilitude that permeates these musical creations, and it gives me the feeling that Breach Us portends ascent.

CD, vinyl, and download formats are ready to go at Bandcamp, and of course you can stream it all at Spotify and the other usual places.

Cover art by Danny Larsen.






Hymn, Breach Us review (Fysisk Format 2020)

Ormskrik, review (Fysisk Format 2020)

The new album from Ormskrik is the best possible kind of surprise – a dark thrash masterpiece we are going to listen to for years to come.

Ormskrik is a young band from Norway. The band is: Gjøran Bårdsen (vocals), Anders Skjæveland and Tormod Hansen (guitars), Erik Bakke (bass), and Kristoffer Fikstvedt (drums). Thrash is where I would put them if I had to pick a one-word description, but the black metal tradition in strong here too. If we try to analyze the alchemy, we might say the music begins in a black metal field that is infused with thrash then hastened with modernity and a saturating conjuror’s imagery. You almost never come across a new band that can survive a comparison to Slayer, but Ormskrik does. The music has that kind of speed and adds a black metal tone and a death metal tinge in the vocals. It is a mystical amalgam.

When I first listened to this album, I conceptualized it in three parts – two opening songs, an interlude, three middle songs, another interlude, and then the closing four songs. I am on board with the entire set, but it is the last part that really implanted itself in my mind. The troika of “Helheim,” “The Morbid Arrives,” and “Hecatomb” simply lays waste to your musical consciousness and the final track, “”Eye For An Eye,” verily finishes you off. The pulsing rhythm hooks and myriad merging confluences are propelling forces you cannot shake off. When the closer turns reflective halfway through, it is not what we expected, but it lands just right, as does the acoustic outro creating, as it does, a sort of final fugue (second voice). I am going to wrap this up now so I can go down to the lake, sit by myself, and get all clinical in my head about this album because I think there is a lot going on here. You don’t have to do a deep dive into your psyche to get into these songs, but you’ll know when you hear this album that it is something different, it is something special.

Orsmkrik is available now from Fysisk Format for a vinyl edition and Bandcamp for the digital. Get ahead of the curve and listen now. Highly recommended.

Band photo by Martine Cecilie Berger.




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Ormskrik, review (Fysisk Format 2020)