Album of the Day: Thorr’s Hammer – Dommedagsnatt

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Label: Moribund Records / Southern Lord Recordings

Not to be confused with a similarly-named Polish NSBM band, Thorr’s Hammer are an important part of modern doom and drone metal history. Though they were initially only active for six weeks – playing two gigs and recording a demo and the Dommedagsnatt EP, before disbanding when vocalist Runhild Grammelsæter returned to Norway – it was from this band that the seeds of future collaborations between Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson were sewn. And I’m sure we all know how important a duo they are to modern heaviness. Yet Dommedagsnatt is noteworthy beyond its status as an historical artifact – this EP is filled with crushing death-doom that still holds up today.

Originally released on cassette by Moribund Records, and later reissued on CD and 12″ vinyl by Southern Lord Recordings, Dommedagsnatt is a record filled with misery and emotion. Its songs move at a funereal pace, like early Celtic Frost records played at ta quarter tempo, and though there’s real weight and impact to the music, much of what makes the EP so noteworthy is Grammelsæter’s vocals. Drawn from inhuman depths, and filled with a malevolence that is utterly devastating, she enhances the EP’s  sense of power and desolation with a commanding performance – for further evidence of her talent, just listen to her mind-bending, avant garde black metal solo record. Aside from the three recorded tracks, the Southern Lord reissues also include a bonus live track,  which is drenched in the droning reverb that would be so important to the later works of O’Malley and Anderson.

Dommedagsnatt can be downloaded via Bandcamp, and streamed on Spotify.

 

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