Wyrd - Kammen
Avantgarde Music
Doom, Pagan Metal
8 songs (1:05:22)
Release year: 2007
Wyrd, Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by Goat

Finnish heathen duo Wyrd have been in existence for ten years, producing a unique take on Pagan Metal for nearly as long. From first album Heathen which consisted of a single song over fifty minutes in length to the two-part epic of Vargtimmen, the band has followed its own path resolutely and earned much respect in the underground community along the way.

Wyrd’s seventh album in the seven years since Heathen is a mixed bag in terms of style. There’s gentle Folksy acoustics, Doom, pure Black Metal, even some downright catchy Heavy Metal riffing that Zakk Wylde would kill for. As you’d expect, this takes more than a couple of listens to process but it’s a pleasant experience throughout, the band knowing enough about dynamics to keep the listener listening. Cold In The Earth, for example, starts with some infectiously headbangable riffs before exploding into a deep Black Metal attack, the riffs then returning with a sing-along chorus. Throw in a hint of old-school Death Metal and you’ve got a killer track, even if it does go on for just a bit too long.

If there’s a consistent fault with Kammen, it’s the meandering nature of the songwriting. The likes of the seven-minute October are excellent, Doomy dirges that scrape the soul with passion and conviction, but unless you’re giving them your all they tend to drag. Anther example, the early Katatonian vibe of These Empty Rooms is hypnotic if you’re paying attention; if not, it’ll pass right over your head.

Two songs on the album are over ten minutes long, opening track The Hounds Of The Falls and the penultimate Rajalla (at nearly eighteen minutes). The former is a slow-to-medium paced song, slightly repetitive, but once you realise what the band is attempting (Black Metal hypnotism with Heavy Metal riffs) you appreciate it more. Although it’s enjoyable enough for the first few listens, it could be tightened a little – there’s a point halfway through where Bergtatt-era Ulver Folk makes an entrance that would have been perfect for splitting the song into two.

Rajalla, meanwhile, tries very hard to be epic, atmospheric guitar noise backing soulful singing and strumming that slowly builds into a Doom-ridden march to the graveyard. If you’re the type that likes their Doom slow, drawn-out and utterly incomprehensible to those uninitiated, you’ll probably love this.

Sadly for Wyrd, it seems that those of us that do like music of this sort are few and far between. There is a distinct impression that rather than trying to dumb its music down for newcomers with the catchy moments, Wyrd is winking at its fans, giving them a taste of the band’s ever-broadening palette. Greenhorns, then, will likely be nonplussed, whilst those of us slightly more familiar with the band will appreciate this as the next step on a unique journey. This time, there are catchy beer-drinking riffs, next time, who knows? It’s guaranteed to be interesting, however few it ultimately appeals to. A bit of polish and these guys would be as big as In Flames - clearly, however, they’ve chosen the underground path, and deserve much respect for that.

This won’t speak to everyone, ultimately, but if you’re interested so far the chances are that Wyrd will have a lot to say to you. Otherwise, although there’s clearly a high level of skill, this isn’t quite enough to ensnare the casual Metalhead. More fool them.

Killing Songs :
Cold In The Earth, These Empty Rooms, Soulburn
Goat quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Wyrd that we have reviewed:
Wyrd - Vargtimmen Pt. 2 reviewed by Daniel and quoted 90 / 100
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