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Hamferđ : Vilst Er Siđsta Fet

The debut of Hamferđ is a master-stroke.

Vilst Er Siđsta Fet is the debut album of this sextet from the Faroe Islands. And what a debut it is! It's some kind of a master-stroke, a fresh, exciting experience, heavy and dark, but crossed by a fluent current carrying along a vast emotional load, fragments of ancient tales, wreckage of broken dreams. Hamferđ play on a melodic and somber ground, grey landscapes that are often lit up by some pertinent breaks in the turbulent weather: lamented guitar leads, mournful chants sung with a tragic clear tone that brings calm and introspection between two thundering, skull-crushing bursts of angry despair.

The most stunning parts of this EP, the ones that let cold shivers run down your spine, are certainly those when Jon Hansen’s voice ventures on clear and fragile grounds, setting himself as the melancholic narrator of those kind of songs that you readily put in the mouths of helots, they who live by the oceans, isolated from the rest of the world. Hamferđ’s Doom is mineral: there is the wind, there is the sea, the thin and scarce grass clinging on an arid soil dried up by salty spindrifts. Hansen’s growls are impressive also, very deep; they're echoing rolling clouds, shipwrecks and death. The music itself follows the same ambivalent pattern, shifting from sorrowful moods (keyboard, sad choirs) to a climaxing rush of brutality (primeval riffs, pounding drums).

Far from sounding monotonous, the band manages to draw up the lively musical portrait of the end-of-the-world atmosphere that has to shroud a place as remote, as cold and as preserved as the Faroe Islands. As a fishermen nation, their history is certainly marked by streams of tragedies, chains of grief that link each family to its neighbouring one. Hope and the devastating fate. Life and Death going hand in hand. It all leaves you with a feeling of harshness, carved deep on the ground of those subarctic islands.

A great care has been brought to the production, which contributes to make the emotions conveyed by the music more direct and almost palpable. Imagine a mix between Katatonia, Griftegard, Akelei and Grove and you have a hint of what that beautiful Vilst Er Siđsta Fet sounds like; debut album of the year, no doubt!

Reviewer's rating: 9.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Harra Guđ, Títt Dýra Navn og Aera
2. Vráin
3. Aldan Revsar Eitt Vargahjarta
4. At Enda

Duration : Approx. ?? minutes

Visit the Hamferđ bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-04-02 by Bertrand Marchal
No God Only Pain
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