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  • Jason Hesley

Hamferð: Faroese Death/Doom Outfit to Release “Men Guðs hond er sterk” Full-Length March 22nd on Metal Blade Records!

Faroe Islands-based death/doom outfit HAMFERРwill release their Men Guðs hond er sterk full-length March 22nd on Metal Blade Records.

When this magisterial sextet’s third album Támsins likam emerged in 2018 – ten years after they first entered a rehearsal space – the highly acclaimed and powerfully emotive opus thrust the mourning-suited band onto the world stage. Five years on, the accumulation of plentiful live experience and interpersonal chemistry has had a profound impact on HAMFERБs extraordinary fourth LP, Men Guðs hond er sterk, feeding into the artisanal sonic vision of guitarist and producer, Theodor Kapnas.

Concertedly eschewing all the quick-fix trickery of modern recording technology, the band recorded the songs playing all together live in the studio, without a click-track. The result is a resoundingly human album that heaves, swoops, and shifts in elemental style – from passages of glacial post-metallic beauty through sorrowful folky goth cadences, via icy blackened blastbeats to shuddering vistas of extreme doom mastery – with a crackling tight-but-loose interplay recalling the giants of yesteryear.

The narrative concept behind Men Guðs hond er sterk is inspired by a harrowing local event: the 1915 whaling disaster off the Faroe Island village of Sandvik (home of HAMFERÐ keyboardist Esmar Joensen), when fourteen men died driving whales ashore in the stormy bay. The village population witnessed the tragedy from the seaside.

Fittingly, the sad tale has enabled HAMFERРto powerfully bring to life the meaning behind their Faroese name, zeroing in on the traumatic emotional force behind this supernatural phenomenon. “When you see someone in hamferð, you see their apparition,” Kapnas explains. “Mostly it’s wives with husbands at sea, who’ve seen them dripping wet in the doorframe in the middle of the night. Typically, in folklore it’s a warning that something bad will happen, and there are several documented episodes of this happening in Sandvik in 1915. So it’s kind of full circle for us.”

As a precursor to the release of Men Guðs hond er sterk, the band today delivers a video for first single and opening track, “Ábær.” Offers Kapnas, “‘Ábær’ is about sailing through a hurricane, through ocean valleys, in a rowing boat and surviving it. The waves crashing, the wind and rain beating and biting you, death greeting you everywhere you look. Perseverance, melancholy, dread, willpower, endurance and doubt interweave with every note and word.”

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