2013 has been a bit poor when it comes to metal releases, in my humble opinion. Of course, there have been some extraordinary albums, but as we reach the end of this year, none of them truly stand out from the rest. But now that problem has been solved. If you were searching for the best album of the year, look no further.
Three years ago, doom metal act Hamferð from the Faroe Islands, released Vilst er Síðsta Fet, a stunning EP that showcased the band’s potential and set very high expectations. Their debut album Evst has now been released and I can say with certainty that Hamferð did not disappoint. It is quite impressive how these young musicians have created such a beautiful, emotive and mature album; they are undoubtedly a very talented group of people.
The two most important aspects that make this album so good are the songwriting and the production. The songs are very well-written and the transitions from the heavy to the softer parts smooth and refined. The production is well-balanced, giving the chance to all instruments to shine throughout the album. The excellent drumming and the bass provide a solid foundation for the tracks, the guitar work is superb, with mesmerizing guitar riffs that have been spinning in my head for days and the keyboards are subtle but very effective in enriching the sound and atmosphere of the album.
And on top of that, there’s Jón Aldará’s fantastic vocal delivery, who provides both menacing growls, as well as soft yet desperate clean vocals. At this point, it should be mentioned that that the lyrics are written in the band’s native language, Faroese. You don’t get to hear such an interesting language very often, so this definitely sets them apart from many other bands. Jón does a great job in evoking intense emotion in the listener through his passionate performance; you can really feel the pain and anguish in his voice, even though you may not understand the lyrics. The track ‘Sinnisloysi’ also features eerie vocals by Faroese artist Eivør Pálsdóttir, making it one of the album’s highlights.
Quite frankly, I fail to find a single flaw in this release. Evst is, for me, the archetype of a perfect doom metal album. It contains good musicianship, stellar songwriting and a crushing atmosphere. Here’s hoping Hamferð will continue releasing great music for years to come and gain the recognition they deserve.
Hamferð are currently on tour in Europe:
27.11 – Nürnberg(DE) @ Hirsch w. Corvus Corax
28.11 – Köln(DE) @ Essigfabrik w. Corvus Corax
30.11 – Wien(AT) @ Szene Wien w. Corvus Corax
03.12 – Siegen(DE) @ Vortex
04.12 – Hamburg(DE) @ Markthalle w. Amorphis
06.12 – Aarhus(DK) @ Radar w. Hatesphere
2. Deyðir Varðar
3. Við Teimum Kvirru Gráu
4. At Jarða Tey Elskaðu
Jón Aldará – vocals
John Egholm – guitar
Theodor Kapnas – guitar
Remi Johannesen – drums
Esmar Joensen – keys
Jenus í Trøðini – bass