Hamferd
Men Gu​ð​s Hond Er Sterk


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
April 11th, 2024 | 16 replies


Release Date: 03/22/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Men...

I’ve found myself in a bit of a lull recently with my usual appreciation of doom metal. Several times, a widely-praised release in the genre will come out, I’ll check it, think, “hey, this is pretty good”, and then move on with no desire to ever return to it. The same goes for my old favorites in the style, they simply haven’t been anywhere near the top of the queue for me to revisit lately. Fortunately, this malaise seems to be more of a coincidence than a permanent loss of interest in the ways of doom, given how many times I’ve been replaying Hamferd’s third album.

Doom metal records often aspire to distinguish themselves by going to the extremes - crazy long tracks, ridiculously slow tempos, absurdly brutal riffage, etc. In that sense, Men Gu​ð​s Hond Er Sterk is distinctive in its propensity for balance. You’ll find both thunderous death growls and soaring clean vocals, each utilized wonderfully, while songs range broadly from the pummeling m/m/m/ opening of “Ábær” to sorrowful chorus of “Marrusorg” (one of the catchiest things I’ve heard in the genre) to the the smooth melancholia of “Glæman”. The tunes never feel complacently straightforward, but not a single track reaches anywhere near the ten minute mark, and the album as a whole is extremely listenable in any mood. The consistent throughline is the atmosphere, which combines a sort of gloomy beauty with an ill-concealed lurking menace.

That description of the record’s feel brings us to Hamferd’s other primary strength here - the band’s embrace of their distinctive heritage. The musicians hail from the Faroe Islands, a rocky archipelago far from the mainland in the northern latitudes of the Atlantic. While I’ve never visited, the album’s vibe feels fitting given that context - a combination of their homeland’s Nordic roots (pretty metal to begin with), the band members’ presence within a small population in an extremely isolated locale, and their recognition of life as a precarious existence at the mercy of cold, sea, and storms. All told, a pretty compelling backstory. The closing title track brings that point home as a moody folk piece featuring dour spoken-word narration. I can’t understand the Faroese lyrics, but that’s almost besides the point, as even in that unknowing the track feels as utterly harsh and unforgiving as the album’s themes more generally. Perfectly suitable.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2024


5959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not my finest work, but I've had a half-written review for this sitting around for a while and decided to finish up and publish, given this album's been out a few weeks now without a thread.



m/

Frost15
April 11th 2024


3261 Comments


Nice concise and brief review Sunny. I love this band so thank you for your writing. Have to check this asap because all their previous output was amazing.

RogueNine
April 12th 2024


5566 Comments


I'm really picky about my doom metal and while this wasn't quite my thing, I can tell a lot of people would appreciate it.

Ectier
April 12th 2024


2729 Comments


I see death doom and im here

heck
April 12th 2024


7137 Comments


ham!

PortalofPerfection
April 13th 2024


3228 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Where is Hawks, he must answer the call.



Nice review, def checking.

Egarran
April 13th 2024


34237 Comments


"But God's hand is strong."

Sweet review, sounds promising.

Egarran
April 15th 2024


34237 Comments


Hvølja is delicious.

PortalofPerfection
April 17th 2024


3228 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Okay, this is pretty boring. I rather like the cleans but nothing else is grabbing me at all :/

Hawks
April 19th 2024


89393 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Plz change the summary Sunny bro. This album doesn't deserve it.

PortalofPerfection
April 19th 2024


3228 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Lmao yeah this is not Men material.



It's well put together and I do like the vocals but it's very meh overall.



That should be the summary. Just change the "n" to an "h".

Hawks
April 19th 2024


89393 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Lmao yesssss!!!

Egarran
April 19th 2024


34237 Comments


You just don't get Faroese culture.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
April 19th 2024


5959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This feels more "men" than "meh" to me, but to each their own! Both nice concise summaries.

Hawks
April 19th 2024


89393 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Forget the culture this is just plain boring lol.

Sevengill
April 19th 2024


12164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this was a good vibe but I don't remember anything that happened



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