Denmark based black melodic black metal horde Orm have just released their debut self-titled record and you can already hear the first single from it, “Apotheosis” here on their official Bandcamp page. It’s admittedly rather odd that the band would choose their longest cut, a veritable ten minute monster as a first offering, but it just goes to show you what kind of band they are. Obviously, you need to sit down and soak Orm in. These aren’t fly by night compositions that you’re going to throw over shoulder in the next couple of minutes, they are deeply thought and meticulously pieced together tracks that will require a bit of your time and patience. While Orm definitely bring the blasts, they perform so much more in lieu of melody and atmosphere that you’re going to feel less like you’re listening to just another black metal album and instead be taken into a doomy world where the frost is just as apparent as the soundscapes, drone and what I’d consider to be a guitar-based ritual at times. There are some signs of early Amon Amarth here as well as Enslaved, before both became highly commercial and simplified their styles down to to processed cheese. So if you’re one of those many individuals wondering what it might sound like if Enslaved or Amon Amarth went back and explored those old haunts, this is more or less what we would get. Did you like Frost? Would you have loved it if the record had a larger atmospheric edge? Because this is what Orm deliver.
You know, come to think of it, there’s some Wolves In The Throne Room here too. Not enough in the way of cheery melodies, but rather a more thunderous and frightening aura that once again reminds me of the kinds of folk-influenced numbers that Amon Amarth used to be capable of. It’s pretty bad when I have to jump ship from one band in order to find what I was looking for again in another, but I’m at least thankful that these Danes haven’t forgotten how to play the fucking music. Little plastic Viking ships and action figures are cool and all, but I think real heads just want the music, and that’s what I’m getting here. Orm, like so few albums today – is a record that actually challenges you. Most people just can’t get over the harsh vocals and furious drum extremity to realize that gentlemen like these are far more talented than pop-addled mainstays like Five Finger Death Punch and Avenged Sevenfold. To some people, these are considered heavy metal acts. But they are generalized pop-metal acts at best, with only a subtle sense of self and mostly radio quality veneer. I’m not looking for pretty colors, I’m looking for actual composition and musical merit, which is what I’m finding here. I don’t even care what the lyrical content is, because I have been lifted into such an amazing musical world by this experience that vocal utterances don’t matter so much as a frontal point and feel like just another part of the ebb and flow of the journey. Seriously, how many albums can you name over the past couple of years that have taken you on a real adventure?
The mixing of black and death metal stylings along with the sheer wonder in composition are what make this album what it is. This is the kind of performance that will accompany a long drive to make it feel like less of a hassle – or if possible in your position – will make a workday go by with a lot less stress on the psyche. Sometimes these tremolo-riddled experiences can also be therapeutic, which I think is yet another good reason to find a place where you can absorb the disc in it’s full grandeur. Orm are a band that actually knows when to “shut up and play” and that is when they truly shine. This attention to detail is what makes the experience they offer within the forty-two minute playing time, truly memorable.