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Hamferd - Ódn

by Martin Knap at 13 May 2019, 10:15 PM

Faroe Islands are a chain of islands between Island and Norway with only around fifty thousand inhabitants. The isolation and a pride and toughness of its folk that mirrors the harsh environment of these islands resulted in a cultural uniqueness and deep connections to Old Norse traditions and beliefs have been maintained. In part the closeness is also linguistic (as it is in Island) and the tradition of storytelling – the sagas of their forebears which celebrate heroic bravery on face of great odds – is very much a part of the people’s soul and identity. This is the country from which one of the raising stars of European Death/Doom HAMFERÐ comes from. They have debuted with an EP in 2010 and since released two full-length albums. These three albums are part of a single story about a family of seafarers struck by tragedy and haunted by supernatural beings. The supernatural and seafaring concept is actually part of the band’s name itself: HAMFERÐ means “skin-journey” and refers to a belief that a man who died at sea will appear to his family and loved ones.

The love of storytelling is evident on HAMFERÐ’s latest live EP as well. The song “Ódn” tells a story about a sailor who’s braving a storm, ultimately meeting a tragic death, “Deyðir Varðar” tells a story about a father searching for his lost son in the mountains. HAMFERÐ’s music has a grandeur of scale and depth of emotion like no other. “Ódn” is written in a truly progressive fashion: the song develops from section to section but at the same time form a coherent whole. The previously unreleased “Ódn” has three parts: the first, foreboding part represents the sailor’s trepidation in the face of the coming storm; the second, violent one represents the sailor’s struggle with the elements and the last, elegiac part is about coming to terms with one’s demise. This song is drama and emotion and the live performance – including the sound – is superb. “Deyðir Varðar” stands in stark contrast to the dramatic and grand “Ódn”. It is a somber, intimate acoustic ballad – it is simple but full of raw emotions. Jón Aldará is a well-regarded singer (he’s also been BARREN EARTH’s lead singer for some time now) and this performance makes it clear why: his singing can be deeply emotional without sounding melodramatic.

Támsins likam” was my favorite album of 2018 and I’m glad that we get we get a release with raw, powerful live performances such as this. If you like HAMFERÐ you will definitely appreciate this EP.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8


4 Star Rating

1. Ódn (Live)
2. Deyðir Varðar (Live)
Remi Johannesen - Drums
John Egholm - Guitars
Theodor Kapnas - Guitars
Esmar Joensen - Keyboards
Jón Aldará - Vocals
Ísak Petersen – Bass
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 29 January 2023

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