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Hoofmark - Stoic Winds

Stoic Winds
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 30 January 2018, 2:47 AM

N.M.M.R delivers his first full-length album, after 2016’s Demo release of this album. The Portuguese single entity is showing exactly what he is made of. Recorded with his country’s own recording company:  Ultraje. The sound of this album is very much his own, with a few distinctive similarities dotted throughout.

“Amongst a Sea of Darkness” has a very rustic sound to it: the coarse vocals fraternization with the dirty raw thrash guitar makes a great merger, in the simple sense of it rubs off against each other well. The tempo is persistent through, there is a pulsating drumbeat kicking through, almost in the same light of Old School BURZUM. The vocals are angry and expressive, but unlike some Black Metal; they are not unecessarily distorted, just for effect. The melody is a mismatch of uneasy thrashed around riffs and steadily progressive rhythm. It’s got a good traditional (2nd Wave of) Black Metal feel to it, getting the album off to a good start, which is key inn a very obvious way, but always good to see a band step up to the plate and hit it out the park from the off.

Stoic Winds” is a very different start from the previous, more melody building up smoothly, the guitar almost flirting around you, showing what he can do, before the rest of the instruments follow suit, but doesn’t explode, just nicely blends in. Vocals are clean again, light and crisp, which is sometimes unusual for Black Metal, but soon the vocals change with some low shrieks coming out, adding a new context to the sound. The guitar sound is once more thrash infused, and again hearing a few BURZUM styles perfectly used. The buildup mid-song is far rougher than the intro, but it has built up well, not just out the blue, but the song is progressive. The different styles are flowing well, keeping the song going through smoothly

“An Arrow Long Due” has a less thrash style that other songs have, a darker sound, which works well. The ambience is clearer in this song, more distortion in the instruments, but the vocals remain clear, a trait he is keeping up throughout this album. You can tell he is a one-man band; he is playing to his own strengths. The sound, the expression is his own. The tempo is more upbeat than some songs on this album like “Dust Trails” but nowhere as much as say “Stoic Winds”, this brings in a context shifting sound, not just a one trick pony. He shows he can offer many styles very well.

For Fans of: BURZUM

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Yours Should Be a Heavy Casket
2. Amongst a Sea of Darkness
3. Stoic Winds
4. Dust Trails
5. Dust Trails Blazing
6. An Arrow Long Due
7. From the Foot of God's Throne
8. Horror Maximum
9. Hoofmarks
Nuno Miguel Monteiro Ramos - Everything
Record Label: Ultraje


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Edited 26 November 2022

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