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Masterful drumming, measured growls, and melodious guitar parts will form a cloud of moody black metal over your domicile on 23rd April, courtesy of Russian’s Hymnr and their four-part piece, Far Beyond Insanity.
Just under 44 minutes (if your maths is correct, that’s an average of 11 minutes per track) of cleanly recorded and immaculately produced black metal, which is as rare as a dog that speaks Norwegian. The vocal delivery maybe a little tepid for some, but it’s throaty enough to tick the relevant boxes. The tempo changes are well executed, the drumming not overpowering but not innocuous, the guitars melodic and with the right amount of grit, the swells and suspension composed artfully… there’s not much wrong with the writing or the sound overall (the sharper eared listeners might hear a bit too much compression here and there and the low-end a bit cloudy), though it could be bettered with a little more direction and more daring/intricate guitar leads.
Part I sets an overcast mood with it’s dark sample intro, bitter-sweet arpeggios, and powerful bass, whilst Part II surges ahead with bland yet tight riffs interspersed with slower melodic changes. The indie-pop chord progressions on Part III are certainly unexpected but segue into a tension-building bridge as smooth as greased silk, and Part IV goes from sorrowful to savage within 3 minutes. One of the stand out elements of the album is the composition and how each track takes a new turn every few minutes, paying homage to the death metal tradition of somehow condensing the riffs of 6 songs into one.
Having more guitar leads and/or hooks and trimming the track lengths and having more of them would probably be everyone’s first suggestion, but Hymnr’s first release can be forgiven such minor growing pains on what is a very solid debut.
Release date: April 23, 2021
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