Vera : For a long time, Hamferð remained a well kept secret hailing from the Faeroe Islands. Years ago they toured in Europe as support act of their fellow compatriots Týr, in 2015 Jón Aldará appeared to be the new vocalist of Barren Earth and he created the progressive stunner ’On Lonely Towers’ with them and recently I found out that he also contributes vocals to the international doom metal collective Clouds. In brief, we were regularly reminded of the existence of Hamferð. Earlier they released an EP and a full length on the local Tutl label, but now they are signed by the mighty Metal Blade to have a worldwide introduction of ‘Támsins Iikam’ in January.
Actually this happens to be a third part of a trilogy once started with the EP Vilst Er Siðstra’ and consequently it is a conclusion of former works, but not really, because it should be in reverse and this album ought to be the beginning of the story about mortality and the view on loss through the eyes of local culture and mythology. Thus it is no wonder that all lyrics are in their vernacular language. It is an intense doom/death metal experience with a signature sound, this time mixed by famous producer Daniel Bergstrand at the Dugout Studios. The music sounds raw and undaunted, just like life at the windy home basis of this six-piece. Yet there happens to be a very solemn and ‘civilized’ element in all this melancholic savageness: the dignified, almost pompous clean vocals of Aldará. It is true, he regales us with mighty deep grunts in heavier parts, but his clean chants are so empyrean that they have an otherworldly beauty.
With the nine minutes long opener ‘Fylgisflog’, we learn that the band takes its time to build up songs cautiously. In this case going from slow guitar notes to dramatic keyboards with clean vocals to voluptuous outbursts with scorching grunts. A Valhalla for doom aficionados! Sacral choirs pop up in the midst of fluttering sounds in the enchanting ‘Stygd’ which includes inventive drum patterns and it shifts from a low-ranged Saturnus growl to melancholic clean vocals. The instrumental part sounds as if domino stones fall one by one, the terror of all this misery in this story. Sometimes Aldará even seems like a thoughtful crooner, just listen to ‘Tvistevndur Meldur’, while the video clip for the quiescent ‘Frosthvarv’ is of otherworldly beauty. Here we only have rolling grunts towards the end. On the other hand, ‘Hon Syndrast’ appears to be quite catchy and up-tempo and later it even comes close to blackened fury with screams. Beautiful guitar skills in this song by the way. Final track ‘Vapn I Anda’ goes – during its eleven minutes length – from sensitive beauty to a rigorous doom eruption and has a slow moving intensity with howling guitars that finally fades in introvert sounds. This is a revelation, without any doubt! Here the doom metal genre is graced with a strong own identity, a captivating collection of songs, coming from wastelands, that makes us shiver to the bone!