Apart from being a staple of the UK shipping forecast and consistently failing to progress from the qualifying stages of the World Cup, the Faroe Islands are still a relatively unknown quantity for many people. However, proving that Metal really does occupy some of the least charted territories of the globe, the little archipelago located 200 miles north of mainland Scotland is actually home to several bands, most of whom are located within the walls of its capital, Tórshavn.
Along with compatriots Týr, Doom/Death metal act Hamferð are arguably the most well-known of these, and off the back of their second full-length studio album, Támsins Likam (Metal Blade) are now releasing follow-up EP, Ódn (Metal Blade Records).
Consisting of two tracks, the 12” EP features live performances of ‘Ódn’, and ‘Deyðir Varðar’, the latter originally recorded for their 2013 debut. Previously unreleased in any format, the title track, written in 2008, was the first song composed by the band and is the story of a sailor venturing into increasingly violent seas. Featuring three distinct sections, the epic title track begins slowly but crushingly heavily, gathering pace with a simple but sturdy riff, before slowing down and adding clean vocals for its final part.
The more recent, stripped down version of ‘Deyðir Varðar’ – a song about a father wandering the mountains, searching for his son – was actually recorded in 2015 during a solar eclipse on the hills overlooking the village of Kvivik, and is every bit as good – if not as heavy – as the album version.
A superb fifteen minutes of powerful Doom and Death combining effortlessly with a quieter, emotional side, Ódn serves to whet the appetite perfectly for the band’s next full-length release.
7 / 10