Misþyrming - Með Hamri
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Black Metal
6 songs (43:31)
Release year: 2022
Official Bandcamp, Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Reviewed by Goat

Dropped on an unsuspecting world just a few days before Christmas 2022, the third full-length from Icelandic misanthropists Misþyrming continues from the more melodic assault of its predecessor without relenting from heaviness or compromising on the band's vision. It's a more than excellent follow-up that builds on Algleymi's strengths and yet doesn't walk the same path to the point of nicely obtuse bluntness in how heavy it is; the opening title track here is a coruscatingly dense blackened thrasher that pushes its melodic undercurrent well beneath the surface but rides it well, more akin to Funeral Mist than the Deathspell Omega comparisons of yore. Building to a majestic peak thanks to the crunching battery of new drummer MS (ex-Svartidauði) mad shrieking laughter comes from vocalist DG along his usual snarled bellows, knowing how enjoyable his handicraft is! A superb opening to a superb black metal album, and things only improve from there...

It's hard to quite put your finger on what it is that makes the best examples of this genre so compelling; a complete self-belief from the artists in the power of their creation is definitely a consistent factor, and that's certainly true here. Gloriously vainglorious in their melodies and riffs, kicking off Með Harmi with a flourish and a near-Bathory-esque level of grandiose catchiness, backed up with real steel in the track's sonic heaviness and presence. Each drum hit, each snarl, each riff sounds tremendous thanks to the clear yet not artificial mix (again handled by mainman DG - those who have heard anything from Misþyrming will be unsurprised by the news that he has a degree in sound engineering) and even the inter-track ambient pieces are tremendous, distinct and varied in style and smoothly integrated. And as the album continues and new if unshowy surprises come your way such as the subtle backing horns on the completely furious Engin Miskunn or the spooky Burzumic keyboards that fill in the space behind Engin Vorkunn (the closest to modern Deathspell Omega here thanks to its menacing presence) none of the power is lost. The peak of the epic mountain is hit with the martial drums and horns of Blóðhefnd, one of the album's few moments of beauty following with a wordless female choir, the whole acting as a moment of reflection before nearly ten minute finale Aftaka.

Here, we have possibly the greatest Misþyrming opus yet, opening with darkly tinkering piano and slowly, ominously building thereafter to explode three or so minutes in, rolling drums and grinding riffs crushing the listener with sheer intensity. The entire album is intense, of course, a gripping experience that will devastate any necronaut, but few bands can so balance the essential violence of the genre with musical skill and composional genius. And although each full-length from Misþyrming so far has shown off a different aspect of the black metal sound, be it the dissonance of the debut or the melodicism of Algleymi, Með Hamri here shows how violence and sheer, chilling focus rule the roost. A late contender for album of the year, but definitely one of the Icelandic scene's biggest triumphs thus far.

Killing Songs :
Með Hamri, Með Harmi, Aftaka
Goat quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Misþyrming that we have reviewed:
Misþyrming - Algleymi reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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