Hamferð – Men Guðs hond er sterk

It has been six years since Hamferð their latest, high praised release ‘Támsins Likam’, but the long wait is over and the band their third full length album Men Guðs hond er sterk’ got released on March 22nd.
First let me confess that I’m not the biggest Doom fan there is. There are plenty ‘okay-ish’ bands out there that I like, but not many that stand out. An exception to this, is the Faroese band we’re talking about here. Ever since their first full length release ‘Evst’ back in 2013 I’m hooked. It’s not fair to give all the credits for this to just one man, since the entire band exist of majestic musicians, but the exceptional voice of front man Jón Aldará made me a fan since the first spin. This man’s voice has an otherworldly reach, and sound to it. His clean vocals have a sense of despair in them, which fits perfectly to the genre and the deep and dark tunes of the band, but also the thematic concept of this new album ‘Men Guðs hond er sterk’.
This album title translates into ‘But Strong Is The Hand of God’, and 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 14 men died driving whales ashore in the stormy bay. The village population witnessed the tragedy from the seaside.

After only a very a short build up, the heaviness of the album soon kicks in when listening to opening track Ábær’. Heavy riffs crush you, like the storm that’s coming your way, and the tone of the album is set. When dark growls and high piercings clean vocals enter the mix, the feeling of doom, despair, but also hope won’t leave until the end of the album.
‘Rikin’ probably is one of my favourite songs on the album. It consists of a lot of the band’s strengths and tempo changes. The song starts strong, heavy and in your face, dark growls enter to create a feeling of doom. The shrieking guitar solo followed by more dark growls, empowered by fast drums makes this one of the faster parts of the album. Coming to the end of the song, all slows down, the vocals switch to Jón clear, piercing sound, and the feeling of hope is gone.

Somewhat similar is another outstanding song ‘Í Hamferð’. The build up in the song is awesome. It starts in the slower range but ends in another one of the fastest parts of the album. The collaboration and interaction between all separate musicians truly stand out in ‘Í Hamferð’. Keeping in mind the fact that the band recorded this album playing all together live in the studio, without click-track; this even more impressive.
Another note I have to make about this album, is that I’m especially fond of the way the (forgive me for saying this) ‘simple’ keyboard lines carry the slower songs Glæman’ and the first half of ‘Fendreygar’. They create the exact amount of a haunting feeling, empowering the mostly calmer vocals.

Getting to the end of the album, the band created one of their heaviest, darkest, deepest songs they’ve ever made: Hvõlja’. Guitarist and producer Theodor Kapnas states that: “I had a big fascination with making stuff rougher, dirtier and uglier.”
About Hvõlja’ he says: “Musically it’s all about tension; suspended chords and tense harmonies, always having that feeling of uncertainty. That penultimate song is maybe my favourite track on the record, just because it’s so uncompromising. Everything goes to 11!
There’s not much left to say to this, then the fact that I completely agree, and I think it is a great way to (almost) finish the album.
The album ends with title track Men Guðs hond er sterk’ which is made up by a recording of a radio interview in 1950, of one of the survivors of the disaster, accompanied by some keys by Esmar Joensen. It’s an excellent way to do justice to this story.

Overall, Hamferð has created yet another masterpiece. The way these men are able to play together and record this album in a live setting is just phenomenal. The dark and heavy tones they create with shrieking heavy guitars and drums, haunting keys, combined with vocals that make even your spine shiver, create a signature sound that you simply can not not-love.


Review by: Ingrid

Record label: Metal Blade Records
Release date: March 22nd 2024

Rating: 9/10

Í Hamferð
Men Guðs hond er sterk





Like most metalheads I love to visit festivals and concerts, so as soon as metal-exposure was founded, I jumped in. Nowadays I run the site, but also still take care of writing when I find the time for it, but mainly love photographing. I see and listen to a lot of different kind of bands, but my foremost love goes to Black Metal.

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