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A Slow Death by Doom - 90%

Metalich, April 21st, 2007

Before female vocalists with growls were topical and gloom could be bought across the food-court, Thorr’s Hammer rises out of the cold winter of metal, circa ’94 with Dommedagsnatt, a cult classic of doom/death. While an EP, it clocks in at thirty two plus minutes; four tracks, one of which is live. While the live track typifies semi-poor production, it in fact does not detract from the song. In many ways it enhances the grand rawness of the album.

First and foremost is the female vocalist. Gammelsaeter’s vocals very between soft female droning to tireless growls that do justice to the death genre; this isn’t your operatic or goth vocals that are all the trend these days, but the droning of frozen, inevitable doom. This is the real deal: Serene, raw, and ugly as needed and when needed. While I like a good singer as much as the next guy, some types of music require the under produced, dragged screaming into the void, type of rawness; this delivers. The drums pound away, not a means of keeping the beat so much as to hammer Gammelsaeter’s vocals and O’Malley’s guitar chords home. Maybe that’s how they chose the group's name; the drums, vocals, and guitar jointly if methodically hammer you into a senseless empty vessel.

The guitars epitomize the doom/death style, as they are endless chords slowly dragged across lonely landscapes of despair. They are heavy, thick, and grueling as the music becomes a crushing molasses of weight that buries your senses six feet deep. It is then your soul is crushed from realizing the universe simple could care less about you.

And that is what good music does; it invokes the emotions typified by its style. This does that with no quarter offered or given. It is a love it or hate it affair, for this isn’t doom, nor is it death; it is a slow death by doom. If you are a collector or fan of doom/death metal, this needs to be in your collection.