Finland is probably my favourite country for metal at the moment, and especially when you’re looking towards some monstrous doom. Ymir’s Blood are the reincarnation of vintage Cirith Ungol and latter period Bathory, and their new self titled record is being given life by Archaic Sound. We must all be thankful for this, for the riffs within are huge and awesome.
Opener ‘Unleasher – Beerbarian’ seems to encompass the fantastic battle of the album art, with huge swinging riffs crashing down like sword on steel and a grandiose sweep of vast ancient lands. A swollen, lumbering giant of a track, wielding classic Candlemass like a hammer of doom (see what I did there….?). The Viking metal-esque ‘1589’ feels very Quorthon, while Gorephelia’s Henu does some guest vocals on the brutal death/doom of ‘Origin of Iron’. My own personal highlight however is the doom-laden take on Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’, which just works perfectly.
‘Ymir’s Blood’ will probably not cause much of a splash this year, but if you’re a doom fan this is going to be an essential hidden gem. A potent and remarkably assured record that wields its granite hewn riffing like a mighty battleaxe, while sharp melodies hone the edge of the blade. Ymir’s Blood are a band to watch, and hopefully this record will break them through to the wider conscience.