Thursday, October 4, 2018

Live Video Review: HAMFERÐ Stygd by Dave Wolff

Live performance of the second track from their full length Tamsins likam, released on Metal Blade January 12, 2018
Place of origin: Faroe Islands
Genre: Doom/death metal
Recorded at Sjonleikarahusið Theater in Torshavn, Faroe Islands, March 17, 2018
Audio mix by Theodor Kapnas
Mastered by George Nerantzis
Multi-Camera direction by Rúni Friis Kjær
Cameramen: Hans Petur Hansen, Jónfinn Stenberg and Brian Samson
Release date: September 27, 2018
The Faroe Islands is another area that is home to a number of underground metal bands. As far as I know, the underground there receives little Stateside exposure. With Internal Healing, Vetrarmykur and Goresquad, Hamferð is one of the premier bands based in that country. After checking them out, I’m convinced the scene there deserves more publicity. Having formed in 2008, Hamferð has presented their live show at metal festivals like Inferno, Midgardsblot, Tuska, Summer Breeze and Wacken and done the same sharing bills with Amorphis and Moonsorrow. The band’s performances are described as being narrative, funerary ceremonies. I noticed this without much difficulty watching their new live video; I also noticed the band has a deep dedication to their country’s cultural history, mythology and folklore. This dedication is such that you’d think they were a black metal band before listening to them. Their live video is for the song Stygd, taken from their latest full length Tamsins likam. Hamferð performed the track during the full length’s release party last March. The set list included the entire album and an older, unreleased track entitled Odn, which has been a live staple for a long time. I haven’t heard the studio version of Stygd yet, but the live version is monumentally hypnotic, with an imposing atmosphere and a sense of grim austerity. Tamsins likam is the latest part of an epic drama that began with their 2010 EP Vilst er síðsta fet and continued with their 2013 full length Evst. Vocalist Jon Aldara stated the band took a professional approach to filming and producing the video, not just performance-wise but also in terms of sound, lighting, equipment and stage design. All that effort shows in the song and the production quality. The picture and sound is such that it could appear on a live DVD if the band had opted to release one. The stage set has simplistic lighting; white on black; but it fits the mood and the lights are timed to enhance key moments in the song. The effect is all the more engaging and hypnotic as the band members assume a stoic attitude, channeling all their energy into their music. Jon Aldara does a fine job alternating between guttural and melodic vocals and sustaining the attention of the audience. This video is flawless in every way and I recommend watching. Visit Metal Blade for additional information and check out Tamsins likam in full at Hamferð’s Bandcamp profile. -Dave Wolff

Jon Aldara: Vocals
John Egholm: Guitar
Theodor Kapnas: Guitar
Isak Petersen: Bass
Esmar Joensen: Keyboards
Remi Johannesen: Drums

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