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S.O.R.M. – Hellraiser (Reissue) Award winner

Hellraiser (Reissue)
by Mike McMahan at 19 January 2021, 12:07 AM

S.O.R.M. is a Swedish traditional Heavy Metal band, originally formed in the spring of 2017. Shortly after the creation of the band, they released their debut EP, “Hellraiser”, in 2018. The release gained solid interest throughout the industry, from peers and fans alike. They also joined the agency EMG (Extreme Management Group) in 2018.

Last year, in the midst of the Hell that was 2020, the band decided to sign with Patrick Walch’s (Nuclear Blast Records) new label, Nobel Demon, and take down the EP from all digital platforms; with guitarist and vocalist Mickie Holm stating: “We think that “Hellraiser” deserves to be released properly, so the band has decided to re-release through Nobel Demon”. The bass tracks on the EP have been re-recorded by Johan Ostman, and the band has added organ to all the tracks, giving them a heavier, thicker feel. The release consists of three original cuts, plus a cover of THE ANIMALS’ classic “House Of The Rising Sun”.

One hears no wasted time going into this EP, as the opener “Gypsy Queen” is a delight. The song is, simply put, what the Heavy Metal genre is all about. The guitar work involved, while nothing flashy, is as solid as it gets throughout the body of the song, culminating in an understated, albeit effective, solo. The same could be said of the vocal from Holm, who possesses a nasty snarl of a voice; brutal and threatening, but never pushing over the limit to the forced, guttural Death Metal growls I have heard all too often. The bottom end is held together nicely by Ostman and drummer Robin Wernebratt. This track almost puts me in mind of mid to late eighties, Tony Martin-era BLACK SABBATH, with the exception of the vocal range.

The slower tempo of “Brick By Brick” follows, with a brooding and bass guitar led intro and verse leading into some nice power chord work on the chorus. The song is really quite beautiful in its delivery, and an extremely mature sounding statement from the band. “Hellraiser” is also an extremely good track, reminiscent in some ways to WASP.

The weakest link from this EP was the ill-advised cover song. It felt forced and unnatural to these guys, in my opinion; resulting in a brooding mess by the time we were through. I’m bought in 100%, otherwise, and can’t wait for some new, original material from the band.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1.Gypsy Queen
2.Brick By Brick
4.House Of The Rising Sun
Mickie Holm – Vocals, Lead Guitar
Robin Wernebratt – Drums
Johan Ostman – Bass
Record Label: Noble Demon


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Edited 28 March 2023

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