Bjarm are from Russia and this is their début album of Symphonic Black Metal.
After a bold and bombastic opener the first song proper starts. Knowledge of Doom sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Inspiration comes from bands like Dimmu Borgir, Chthonic, Amiensus and Gloria Morti; essentially this is Black Metal with Symphonic effects, female vocals and a Death Metal influence that gives the band a harsher edge.
The production is heavy and well-recorded; everything stands out and sounds very impressive.
The vocals are deep and growled, for the most part, although spoken parts make numerous appearances. When the female vocals appear they are like the finest silk wrapped around a lovingly sharp blade. Higher, more-Black Metal vocals also have their part to play and these sound serrated like razor wire.
The music is well played and considerable thought has obviously gone into the songs. The level of orchestration and keyboards, etc. is remarkable and the songs are layered with emotion and grandeur. The Death Metal vocals add bite to the tracks and ensure that the band keep their harder edge in amongst the rich textures of the flowing musical theatre.
Overall this is a very professional début that benefits from a huge sound and an impressive theatrical/cinematic quality. For all the pomp and splendour however, they keep a sharper edge to their sound and this prevents the album from becoming stale, in my mind. Add to this some strong songwriting and you have a thoroughly enjoyable album.
Bjarm are ones to keep an eye on that’s for sure. With the right support they could go far.