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(Indie recordings)

jools green

Jools Green


'H7' is the second release from Norwegian black Metal band Blodhemn, following 2012s debut full length 'Holmengraa' and EP 'Brenn Alle Bruer' in 2010 which both received positive reviews.

The band caught my attention because of the name, which is the same as the superb 1998 release by progressive black Metallers Enslaved. Closer investigation revealed that Blodhemn, as do Enslaved, also hail from Bergen, the global HQ for black Metal although the similarities stop here. But at this point I had pretty high expectations from this release.

My thoughts after listening to this seven track, forty minute offering are that it certainly lives up to my expectations and further discoveries reveal Blodhemn to be a one man project masterminded by 'Invisus'. Sound wise it's a classic 90s influenced, black Metal offering. It's not a boundary pusher but it is very well executed.

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It has a raw edge, yet is still sufficiently melodic to make it an interesting listen with a broad range of tempo and direction change and the vocals, a throat searing scream, are good also.

The lyrics are all in Norwegian, something I like as it adds all the right aesthetics to the music. Soundwise you hear the inevitable influences of other Bergen based greats like Immortal and Taake to name a few and that is by no means a bad thing.

Regarding favourite tracks, it's a consistent listen throughout and each has its individual merits although a couple grabbed my attention a little more than the others, starting strongly with 'Flammenes Virke' which is varied, has some great classic styled riffs and an excellent off kilter guitar segment in the latter half.

The seven minute 'Slettet av Tid', one of the three longer tracks is, to the greater part, fast in tempo, although there is there is an extended midpoint drop away.

Another of the more notable tracks 'Evig Heder' has great drum work, some of the best of the release and frantic yet hugely catchy guitar lines and even though it is only four minutes long the direction shifts regularly, keeping your interest.

The mood changes for 'Veiten' which opens in a slow dark moody manner but this all changes as the pace picks up. This seven minute offering continues to change pace and direction, along with the mood and atmosphere.

Although 'Åndenes Ansikt' is a slower track it is a superbly dark, powerful and well crafted and is another that really grabbed my attention. I love the racy tempo of 'Fandesvenn' which is maintained even with the regular direction change and there are some great guitar segments towards the latter part of the track.

Although the final track 'Holmengraa', curiously shares its name with the title of the previous full length release it was not featured on that release, it's another of the seven minute tracks, although the direction shifts regularly it maintains that intense frantic quality to the guitars with great drum work throughout only relenting a little in the closing few minutes.

'H7' is a great listen anyone who enjoys Norwegian black Metal should love this. I will be looking out for the previous release also after hearing this.

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