Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hamferd - Evst


Tracklist:-

1. Evst
2. Deydir Vardar
3. Vid Teimum Kvirru Grau
4. At Jarda Tey Elskadu
5. Sinnisloysi
6. Ytst

With so many bands releasing new music, with PR companies that have global reach and people that are better connected that ever thanks to the Internet and social media, it's not easy for bands from less populous countries to get their music out to new listeners. That's certainly the case for Faroese doom/death band Hamferd. Their album "Evst" was released in 2013 and their label TUTL Records is still on a mission to get it out there, hence this review. Hamferd started life in 2008. They released their debut EP "Vilst Er Siesta Fet" in 2010 and performed at Wacken Open Air two years later, due to winning the Wacken Metal Battle competition that year. They are currently in the process of writing a new record. 

The dramatic atmosphere of album opener Evst is clearly influenced by the landscape around Hamferd. The song’s mixture of low-growls, melodic leads and majestic clean vocals certainly makes you pay attention. It’s not just a run-of-the-mill doom/death record, that’s for sure. The lyrics are also in their native tongue, which further adds to their mystique and charm. Deydir Vardar has elements of the solitary doom of bands like Sentenced and Moonspell, mixed with more traditional layers. It’s quieter verses make the clean vocals stand out even more and at times they seem more operatic during the chorus. It would have been a special moment seeing Hamferd live at Wacken and when listening to their doom/death, you can almost picture it. Vid Teimum Kvirru Grau’s lengthy instrumental intro gives way to song with great ceremony and bombast. I am taken a back by this record. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first but even only three songs in, I’m in awe of what Hamferd has created. As the album progresses it becomes more mournful and even peaceful at times. At Jarda Tey Elskadu is semi-acoustic and is incredibly haunting as a result. It seamlessly flows into penultimate song Sinnisloysi, which is resplendent with orchestral strings. The percussion and guitars that sit above them are super heavy, as are the deathly growls and tortured screams. The female vocals that adorn the song sound like a kind of scary siren, beckoning seamen and their boats closer to the rocks! Album closer Ytst promises to justify it’s ten+ minute length. It starts off in a measured way, but there’s a sense of anticipation flowing through it. When the full band kicks in that anticipation finally overflows. Piano is heard for the first time here and all of Hamferd’s many elements come together to create something truly special. I guess “special” is quite a pertinent word for this record because it’ll blow you away. Its crazy to think that there are hidden gems like Hamferd all over the globe, but somehow many of them get missed. This isn’t one of those occasions though and this band is worthy of much greater things. 

You can view the video for Deydir Vardar and hear more from Hamferd via their website - http://www.hamferd.com

TUTL Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/tutlrecords

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