On Stämman från Berget Fornhem offer a traditional black metal approach with tastefully integrated folk elements and the occasional more modern influence.
The songs are well-written and the band clearly know their art well. Dark melodies are deployed effectively and frequently. The band’s use of melody is somehow both understated and powerful at the same time. The underpinning riffs are either harsh and grim, or mood-driven and ritualistic. Either way, they’re quite satisfying and enjoyable. They’re also given the space they need to breathe and develop as the music needs them to. The songs build atmosphere easily, taking the listener on a compelling journey deeper into the cold tundra. The music is evocative and immersive; you can almost feel the frozen wastes.
The base ingredient here is the Scandinavian second wave, but I like that Fornhem have added their own spin to this. Folk melodies, post-blackened dynamics, atmospheric explorations, and heavy metal guitar influences can all be heard here and there across the album’s 49-minute running time. The old-school style is undoubtedly the biggest part of Fornhem’s sound, but it’s a characterful version of this and the music demonstrates its own personality well.
Very highly recommended for any fan of traditional black metal played with passion, skill, and character.