(Svart Records)

I’ve written about it before, but the line between crushing, compelling doom and sleep (pun intended) doom is teeny tiny. Oslo-based Hymn certainly toe that line, but too much of Perish feels dead on auditory arrival. The band’s sound is pretty standard modern doom, with some moments of percussive fury, and occasional post-metal and sludge influences. However, the name of the game is oppressive, low-end heavy metal. The rather gorgeous cover promises something haunting and potentially gorgeous yet grotesque.

Unfortunately, Perish really isn’t any of those things. Aside from the relatively dynamic “Rise” and “Spectre”, most of the record is all low-end, all the time. It suffers from the same problem that I thought Cough did, in that it just didn’t do enough throughout the record to rise above the level of dearth of Dopethrone-aping doom acts. The two aforementioned tunes benefit from a nice Neurosis influences, lending the songs a creeping dread and nice bit of momentum. Unfortunately, the rest of the album lacks that sense of dynamism. Another bit of frustration is vocalist Ole Rokseth, whose hardcore barks feel out of place and detract from the experience. He would be great in a 90s metalcore band, but here, his voice doesn’t do the band any favors. Overall, despite a couple good tracks, this Hymn is about as rousing as your average Sunday school hymn.

Purchase the album here.

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