Misþyrming – Með Hamri (Review)

Misþyrming - Með HamriMisþyrming are a black metal band from Iceland and this is their third album.

Following on from 2019’s splendid Algleymi, Misþyrming have now returned with 44 minutes of new material on Með Hamri. Prepare yourself for the sort of album that carves its name into the landscape for all to see its metallic glory and tremble at its approach.

Misþyrming’s latest work is dark, gritty, and grim, while still having a vibrant energy and a sound that can level mountains. It’s riven with streaks of melodic fire and boasts a level of barely restrained chaos in places that’s almost tangible. In other areas it is almost anthemic and uplifting, with melodic groove bringing darkness and woe to all and sundry. Hostile atmosphere is everywhere, sometimes overt, sometimes more insidious. The nature of Með Hamri is that of a multifaceted hammer, with many ways to destroy and brutalise.

Með Hamri is surprisingly varied and refuses to be tied down to just one thing. Misþyrming are uncompromising in their pursuit of black metal excellence, but without restricting themselves. The breadth and depth of the material on Með Hamri is intoxicating, and when you listen to it you can tell you’re listening to something special.

The music is aggressive and harsh, yet within its maelstrom of violence there’s intricacy, nuance, finesse, and skill. Misþyrming are brutal, but not mindless. The songs are direct and without mercy, taking the Funeral Mist approach to delivering an exquisite mix of serrated blackened venom alongside a certain amount of malignant sophistication. A classic heavy metal influence can be felt too, further enriching the music’s impact.

If it wasn’t so late in 2023, I’m certain that Með Hamri would have secured a high position on my end of year list. This is violence-as-art, and Með Hamri is taking no prisoners. Misþyrming’s music is exemplary and remarkable.

Essential listening.

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