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Ymir - Silvery Howling - 85%

Lugubri, May 15th, 2006

Ymir plays Finnish Pagan Black Metal. The two members are familiar from other, more famous, bands such as Baptism and Horna. Needless to say, my expectations were high, though I didn't really know what kind of music to expect.

Imagine a cross-breed of Forest's "Like A Blaze Above The Ashes" and Darkthrone's "Under A Funeral Moon" with the melodic touch of Baptism. Somehow I'm also reminded by Warloghe with it's dry, dead soundscape. This should give you a hint of what it sounds like, though there is definitely more to Ymir's music than that. Throughout the songs there's a presence that gives it a certain originality. Though you most definitely can't call this original, there's something that makes this stand out memorable.

The first track, "Resurrection of the Pagan Fire", is excellent. It just hits you straight away, and doesn't apologize. It's speed is ferocious and its atmosphere is cruel, but there are a few parts where the blistering speed explodes into a majestic and somewhat mournful, cold torrent of melody.

The second track, "Warcry for Our Aryan Lands", is also a fast track, but with slower parts thrown in. Its mood is darker and more sinister, but in a sort of majestic sense. This certain majestic nuance is present throughout the demo, though the variation between and within the tracks is amazing. This is the shortest track on the demo, and I wish it was a bit longer. Now it sort of ends too abruptly.

The third and last track, "Sword and Sorcery", is a beautiful mid-tempo/fast song, and of all the songs on "Silvery Howling", I like this one the best. It changes quickly but smoothly from furious heathen atmospheres to a Darkthronesque groove of sorts. The song is structured so that each new riff gets an extra punch from the last, which adds to the memorable, beautiful atmosphere of the track.

All in all, this is one of the better demos I've recently come across. I can do nothing but recommend this fine piece of propaganda if you have a possibility to get a hold of it.