Hermóðr - Då skogen var ung (WOLFSPELL Records CD 2016)
Here’s Hermóðr again, ladies and gentlemen! This time Wolfspell released an album called “Då skogen var ung”, which is sort of compilation with some unreleased 2015 songs plus stuff that was released as so called digital singles (what??) previously, called “Himlen morknar” and “The Scent of Autumn”. And they’re both from 2015 also, so you may remember that Rafn is restless soul, who does nothing else, but play, compose and record music haha. Anyway, this is always fantastic feeling to hear more stuff from Hermóðr and I can say that “Då skogen var ung” is simply amazing release. Even the fact that this album is very long, with some tracks that are 15 minutes long (and “The Scent of Autumn” is 20 minutes long), does not bother me. Because the whole feeling and atmosphere of “Då skogen var ung” is captivating and impossible to resist.
I think that describing each new Hermóðr release becomes quite boring, because I repeat myself each time I review this project haha. Rafn doesn’t change his writing style and obviously Hermóðr will always be a great example for nostalgic, melancholic and sorrowful doomy black metal. This is slow, maybe slightly monotonous stuff, but its atmospheres devours you completely, especially if it comes along with some great melodies or riffs and with just catchy, easily listenable compositions. Obviously with such long songs, the feeling is close to when listening to instrumental music, because the vocals are quite sporadic and you won’t even feel like they has to be there. And that’s because the music speaks of itself and alone paints the pictures of desolate, cold but beautiful nature perfectly. It’s almost charming and beautiful, with these sorrowful melodies and leads, even though the harsh and eerie black metal similar to such Burzum is there as well.
For me personally, it’s perfectly balanced and performed music. I don’t even mind the length of the whole CD and the fact that after a while you have no idea if it’s the same song or next one. It’s one of the very few examples when monotony is not working against the music, but becomes something that will hypnotize you. More so, I can easily say that these are some of the best songs I heard from Hermóðr so far. I definitely like them more than the (still solid) tracks that appeared on splits with Kalmankantaja and Is. Rafn’s music is surely getting better and better, somehow he manages to keep the high quality with each next release and still has enough ideas for it, despite such high recording frequency. And that’s good. This year we also got his newest full length “The Darkness of December”, which I will review soon and I’m sure it’s gonna be another great release of Hermóðr.
Final rate: 80/100