Hermóðr - What Once Was Beautiful (WOLFSPELL Records - CD 2015)
This fuckin sucks! How can I start listening to project like Hermóðr (not band, as it is a work of one man only, Rafn) from their third album “What Once Was Beautiful”? I mean, I like to know what were the earlier recordings like also, to see how the music and style was evolving through all these years, compare the albums, etc. And Hermóðr, even if formed not so long ago (2012) has already quite a big number of recordings, so there’s a lot of stuff to go through. And really I need also the previous recordings, because Hermóðr is simply awesome and I find “What Once Was Beautiful” as truly special and impressive album, definitely one of the best from Wolfspell Records so far! Of course usually we can be suspicious about the quality, if someone is recording two or three different releases each year and also has some other projects active – Rafn has five or six active projects plus some more, which I think are dead now. But if all his stuff is as good as “What Once Was Beautiful” then it is a must to grab more and his creativity is something to admire.
Hermóðr music is rather easy to describe – it’s depressive, very melancholic, sorrowful black metal. The album is quite monotonous, with just slow, doomy tempos, melodic, mournful riffs, some clean guitar tones here and there, with nice, gloomy atmosphere and killer, harsh vocals. There’s almost 75 minutes of music on this album, which is A LOT, especially if we deal with such depressive music. One can find it a bit boring or too much one dimensional, but I guess it’s a matter of mood you’re in. If you’re in proper mood, then the music, with all these awesome patterns, will devour you completely. Besides, quite a lot of the stuff, which Hermóðr plays here is damn melodic, catchy and memorable, so that helps with listening the album. It’s almost unbelievable that an album, where I can’t point out any best songs, because most of it sounds so much similar, is still so damn impressive and involving.
There are some strong Burzum inclinations and other such bands, which offer melancholic and depressive black metal stuff. Personally I love the harmonies, I like the aura of the music and it’s just awesome listen. The production is also very good here; it may keep the harsh edge, but is quite clean and good at the same time. And so… I don’t really need to write more. This is just a superb, but lengthy album.
Final rate: 80/100