Hamferð refers to an apparition: the image of a person facing death, appearing before his or her loved ones as an omen. The doom metal group is set to release the third part of their self-described “reverse chronological saga” on January 12, 2018. From the bio given to us by Metal Blade Records, “Roughly translated as Body of the Mist, Támsins likam is an attempt to create the most intriguing, honest and unique Hamferð experience yet. It is nothing less than a pinnacle; a culmination of many years of refining both sound and songwriting, spearheaded by a strong desire to keep progressing and expanding. This has resulted in an album bustling with elements ancient and familiar, violent and strange, earthen and spectral – all the while fiercely seeking to surprise and move the listener.”
These six tracks are indeed moving. The opener “Fylgisflog” is nine minutes perfectly suited as mood music. Slow and somber, it’s almost something you’d be able to relax to. I say almost because it does pick up quite extensively around the four minute mark. The tempo stays the same, but the guitars get heavier and there are some screams and growls. “Stygd” is another slow track that picks up about halfway through. The drums really stand out on this one.
“Tvístevndur meldur” features heavy, yet moody guitars and low, guttural growls. Despite the growling, if you were in the right mood you could easily chill out to this one. At no point does it change its tone unexpectedly. Keep relaxing with the next track “Frosthvarv.” I keep picturing that scene in The Big Lebowski with The Dude in the bathtub with the candles lit while this song is going on, if The Dude listened to Hamferð instead of CCR. It does get a little louder and heavier a bit after the halfway point, but the change in tone is slight and it doesn’t break the mood.
“Hon syndrast” is the heaviest track on the album, which is why it’s my favorite. Somewhere in between bathtub and candles, soft and mosh heavy, this track is set apart from the rest with its use of heavy, crunching guitars and thundering drums. The album closes out with the eleven minute long “Vápn í anda,” another soft, slow, and somber jam that grows in intensity at the four minute mark, but slows down again shortly after eight minutes. Despite the tone changes, this is another track which works great as mood music.
Támsins likam is an album that has that mood music quality to it. If you’re looking for something hard and heavy, you’re looking in the wrong place. However, if you’re looking for a great album to set a mood, look no further. There’s a certain nuanced beauty in these tracks that most people are sure to appreciate. Final score: 4 out of 5 axes.
03. Tvístevndur meldur
05. Hon Syndrast
06. Vápn í anda
Jón Aldará – Vocals
Theodor Kapnas – Guitars
John Áki Egholm – Guitars
Ísak Petersen – Bass
Remi Kofoed Johannesen – Drums
Esmar Joensen – Keyboards
Written by Mitch Ellerbrock for Bloodrock Media on December 15, 2017