It should be “public knowledge”, that new releases that state, they play something like “true norwegian black metal” aren’t even worth taking the time to listen to them, as the genre is stagnating for quite some time now. Even new releases of really well known bands like Burzum aren’t the same anymore and many people only notice them with a weary smile on their lips. Blodhemn is somewhat different than that…
Once, there was a little Gallic village which defended itself against the besiegement of the Roman Empire. Blodhemn is somewhat like this Gallic village, as Invisus (the one and only person behind the band) tries to protect the genre of true norwegian black metal against the decay. The result is a quite good mixture of several well known playing styles with a huge load of personal contribution. The record offers seven self-written songs and one cover of Dissections classic Black Horizons, which results in ~45 minutes of total playing time.
The definition of “true norwegian black metal” won’t quite get what Blodhemn is playing, as the band features a lot of elements, that aren’t usually used. The roots of the material is quite clear, but somewhat similiar to Svarttjern he often leaves the old paths to feature some rocking passages as well. The problems I named in the review to Svarttjerns - Toward The Ultimate can’t be assigned on Holmengraa, at least not in a great measure. The riffs aren’t so alike to eachother, but neither are they similiar to anything you could have heard before.
The record features crystal clear riffs and melodies, impelling drums and – although they are a bit subtle – nagged vocals, which evoke the thought, that Invisus was really breathing fire and brimstone. The songs are impressing with their clear-cut course, but they still maintain enough variation, through the interplay of fast and aggressive and slightly slower, rocking passages. Sadly it still happens from time to time, that the passages are to long drawn and therefore a bit boring. Invisus recorded every instrument on his own, which is quite impressive as they are flawlessly played! While you can’t complain about his performance, you can state, that he uses quite similiar drum beats in every song and his variations aren’t really innovative either. This accompanies the feelings of the long-drawn passages, which enhances the boring feeling a bit.
Blodhemn released a really solid debut record, which balances between tradition and modernity. You can hear, that the roots of this music are balanced between early Darkthrone, Enslaved and Gorgoroth (and of course many more) and later Darkthrone and Satyricon (same goes here). Although there are these numerous idols, Invisus managed to keep his own style instead of copying all of the above. The only real flaws are the quite akin drum beats and some long, repeating passages. If you liked the Svarttjern record, buy this one, as it exceeds the aforementioned!
Date of release: May, 18th 2012
|3.||Djevelen i Menneskeform||05:17|
|8.||Black Horizons (Dissection cover)||08:34|
|Total Playing Time:||42:49|