Wednesday, 8 February 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Hymn - "Perish"

By: Josh Nichols

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 17/02/2017
Label: Svart Records



“Perish” delivers a dense and grim dose of sludge doom and post metal that creates an atmosphere of dread that frequently erupts in a variety of subtle and different ways.  The entire album is full of gripping tension and visceral despair, muscular and somber, aching weight and gut punching physicality.  It’s an excellent debut from two very talented individuals.”



“Perish” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1.Ritual
2.Rise
3.Serpent
4.Hollow
5.Spectre
6.Perish

The Review:

On February 17th, Svart Records will release “Perish”, the debut full length from Hymn, hailing from Oslo, Norway. “Perish” delivers a dense and grim dose of sludge doom and post metal that creates an atmosphere of dread that frequently erupts in a variety of subtle and different ways. Hymn are adept at creating tension while never leaving the listener on the rack for too long. I know some may like being left on the rack, but I was really impressed with their ability to alter the beast they create, be it by simple tempo and texture or genre shifting. No small task for a two man operation, or what Svart calls the four handed Norwegian beast.

The beast is comprised of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Ole Rokseth and drummer Markus Støle. Both have labored for several years in other projects.  Namely Tombstones and Buckaduzz.  Their previous efforts have ranged from psychedelic stoner to jammy riff heavy doom.  The main difference I’m hearing with Hymn is the level of ferocity and the fact that instead of using riffs to change it up, they are using anxiety. You wouldn’t guess from the dark and all to brief drone opener, “Ritual”, just what is in store for you.

Perhaps that’s the point.  After less than two minutes, the drone gives way to the epic twelve minute “Rise”. A plodding heavy struggle between the insistent wailing vocals and the rhythm section that won’t be rushed.  They battle throughout, sluggishly slowing and adamantly picking back up, but never too much. A total breakdown in the middle, ala Neurosis, leads back into the anguished battle.  By the end, you think you have this band pegged, but you would be wrong.

The dirge doom of “Rise” is replaced by the brutal intensity of “Serpent”.  The choppy buzzsaw riff and cymbal wash now battle for supremacy with vocals that reach next level anger. Personally, they bring to mind Ben Verellen from Helms Alee, but name your own strident wailer. The effect is brilliant.  The landscape totally changed.  It’s like a tank commander roaring over the engines at his crew in a pitched battle. “Hollow” dials it down a touch while retaining the battlefield atmosphere.  Perhaps post battle.  It’s desperate and anguished with wonderful textural shifts on guitar and then a complete vocal change around the midway.  Gone is the roar, replaced by a sinister snear.  Its brief and a great reset before a crippling break down on the back half.

It’s at this point that you’re finally understanding that this bands strength is in keeping you guessing. If you guessed “Spectre” would turn into a wall of sound like waves of menacing dread you can’t escape from, then well done. The finale and title track, “Perish” really steers out of the doom waters and headlong back into Neurosis-esque post metal.  This doesn’t make it any more predictable.  In fact, if you’ve listened to metal in the last 30 years, that tells just how unpredictable it is. Much like the entire album full of gripping tension and visceral despair, muscular and somber, aching weight and gut punching physicality.  It’s an excellent debut from two very talented individuals.

“Perish” is available to preorder/buy here
Band info: facebook | bandcamp

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