Review Summary: Your portal to a darker dimension
What surprises me most about doom outfit Thorr's Hammer is that regardless of their restrictions, they successfully carved away a niche for themselves in their respective fields. By this I mean that by vocalist Runhild Gammelsæter was under certain circumstances that should have
restricted the band's progress and hindered their sound, but somehow it was not a disadvantage for them. Confused? Let me explain. Gammelsæter was an exchange student from Oslo, Norway, and for the last six weeks of her stay, she was involved with the misanthropic Thorr's Hammer alongside Steve O' Malley, Greg Anderson, James Hale and Jamie Sykes, a time in which they played two live shows and had one recording session. So, for such a fledgling band it's simply astounding that Dommedagsnatt
's wheels grind as hard and as successfully as they do.
That's to say that Thorr's Hammer swallows you into a dark canyon or transports a sweltering room with smoke blinding you – and the most impressive part is that I'm not just being hyperbolic. This short-lived doom band's style was just that
cinematic. Axes paint a dark, haunting atmosphere while Sykes's drum patterns are the wheels of the machinations which drive us listeners to the points where Gammelsæter and Company lock into their heaviest and most brooding style of death-infused doom. Here, a seventeen-year-old Gammelsæter breaks out her most raspy and loud holler, while her bandmates grind away with equal fervor at their individual instruments. Here, the canyon's walls begins to erode and the smoke in that dark room gets thicker. It's intense, yes, but an experience to behold. In part because of the layers of boisterous dissonance, and in another part because of Gammelsæter's demonic yell.
Unlike her work with James Plotkin on Khlyst's Chaos Is My Name
and especially on her solo album Amplicon
, the majority of her vocals on this demo are deep growls. On opener “Norge” she employs some elegiac crooning, but even that is defined more so by her terrifying grunts. What's more impressive are her interesting phrasing techniques, as each line emphasizes a new set of syllables – and another is that even though her tempo shifts are subtle, they make all the difference. Some might say that's because the other instruments rarely utilize them, which is, of course, expected of doom metal. But the band's dynamics and their ability to engulf you into their whirlwind of dissonance is mesmerizing.
That's to say Dommedagsnatt
does what every doom metal album is supposed to do. Throughout its thirty-two minute runtime, the demo proves to be a grueling experience that's as entertaining as it is intense. “Troll” personifies slow agony with tortured howls and a swirling pool of guitar drones while the closer, a live version of “Mellom Galgene,” is a more intense and raw take on the demo's misanthropic atmosphere. And while this track in particular is nowhere near as accessible as the other three, it does what it is intended to, just as the others do, and with equal success for that matter.