Håndgemeng – Ultraritual (Review)

Håndgemeng - UltraritualThis is the debut album from Norwegian stoner/sludge metal band Håndgemeng.

Ultraritual provides us with 42 minutes of stoner/sludge metal that has a hardcore edge. Taking a high energy approach to riff-focused heavy music, yet varied within this, Ultraritual is a melting pot of influences that come together well.

The songs are well-written and operate on the heavier end of the stoner spectrum, taking an intensity from sludge and hardcore, but without sacrificing stoner’s more accessible side. There is plenty of direct appeal, but the music works best taken in over time.

The fuzzy guitars have classic metal borders that allow the band to peel off huge riffs or tear out stimulating leads like nobody’s business. This foundation is then injected with hardcore’s passion and take-no-prisoners attitude. Add to this a 70s rock influence and the occasional nod towards the doom side of the style, and you have a well-rounded sound from Håndgemeng.

Imagine a mix of Kvelertak, Mantar, and Orange Goblin, and you’ll have a decent starting point for what Ultraritual sounds like.

Håndgemeng have produced an enjoyable slab of heaviness. It benefits from a few different influences that all come together well under the aegis of Ultraritual‘s stoner/sludge/hardcore umbrella. With good songs that hit the spot nicely, fans of this sort of hybrid style should check this one out.

Highly recommended.


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