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Jordablod – Upon My Cremation Pyre Award winner

Upon My Cremation Pyre
by Riccardo Gaffuri at 07 August 2017, 8:38 PM

Obscure trio from Malmö, Sweden (I was actually able to just track down one of the members’ name, Filip Lundstöm with no clues on his role in the lineup), JORDABLOD released their sophomore album last May, out for Iron Bonehead Production.

Their debut full length Upon my Cremation Pyre left me surprisingly blasted, as this goes well beyond what one could expect from first steps into the scene by a young band: an intricate LP, not just son (or nephew) of Swedish and Norwegian black metal tradition, but smartly laced with outside elements.It’s a 54 mins descent into the dark atmosphere JORDABLOD were able to create, an unceasing dirge in which the listener is left alone shuddering and pushed forward, between sharp and heavy riffs, bursting in an old school black metal way but broken by twirling classic inserts, led by an almost acoustic guitar, taking momentum and growing an album-long crescendo. Technical performance is amazing, with rhythm section and drum pushing above and beyond this precious gem, while all is rendered eerie by evil vocals.

“En route to the Unknown” seems to starts slow with an eerie guitar opening the LP: as the track grows we’re left powerlessly in their hands, like a beach against sea waves; riffs and vocals look like they’re getting away but here they come back with renovated force to slap the listener on the face.  “Liberator of Eden” is a stampede, occasionally resting on vocals/drums breakdowns and solos, till the second part of the track, where their more traditional cloak is put away in place of an epic proggy solo. Tempo goes down with the marching “Chants for the black one”, in which vocals lift as the most notable section as the singer voice oozes pain and suffering throughout the 7 mins track. “Hin Håle” is a 5min interlude in which, through almost mesmerizing riffs, we take a glimpse at a godforsaken and scorched world, with due differences, the same hopeless kind of atmosphere protagonist of AGALLOCH’s “Ashes against the grain”: their approach is different but the feeling of lost they’re both able to summon is the same.

“A sculptor of the Future” has a folkish approach but the result is the same face shattering force of the first tracks.  “Of Fiery Passion” is a balanced structure of emptiness and fullness, with atmospheric sections in the start and at ¾, driven by a delicate oriental sounding guitar, to highlights evil riff and drum explosions. Closing the album, titletrack “Upon my cremation pyre” is true to its name and, introduced by crackling fire sounds, let us witness to the cremation, with a shredding vocal dirge, accompanied by crying guitar riffs on this funeral march.

JORDABLOD win 3 times with this album:  first, as debutantes, they show both technical and songwriting grownup skills, that, along with a good level production, are able to wrap a credible discourse for their concept, evocative and solid; second, they show their black metal ancestors’ DNA in full but they avoid pitfalls of being seen as copycats or bearers of an “already heard” sound, going beyond being “true” and lacing their sound with folkish elements, bluesy creativity and prog approach; third, they infuse new life and fresh lymph into a genre which unfortunately tends lately to be static and immune to evolution. This “Upon my cremation” is a total green light for me, one of the best I’ve heard this year: if this is what they could accomplish as a debut, I’m hopefully longing to pry into their near future.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. En route to the Unknown
2. Liberator of Eden
3. Chants for the Black One
4. Hin Håle
5. A Sculptor of the Future
6. Of Fiery Passion
7. Upon My Cremation Pyre
Filip Lundström
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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Edited 07 February 2023

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