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On disc: Jumalhämärä

Resignaatio - Mike Thompson - 3 stars


(Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions - 2010)

Jumalhämärä is a Finnish black metal band. Not, however, your typical Finnish black metal band - they sound nothing like Satanic Warmaster, Sargeist or Barathrum - nor indeed a typical band of this genre at all. Jumalhämärä's music is an eclectic mix of minimalistic black metal infused with many elements of different genres, from psychedelic prog metal to jazz. Fusing styles is all well and good but has Jumalhämärä managed to pull it off convincingly?
This album pretty much defies any form of genre categorization... maybe this could be classed as 'experimental' but I'm not too sure. I'm not against bands merging styles to create good music; Nokturnal Mortum's The Voice Of Steel fused elements of black metal, folk, prog rock and jazz quite ably to create a modern masterpiece. However, the mish-mash of different styles on this album just batters your senses and melts your brain.
Perhaps the worst part of this album is that it is just so bland. Its trying so hard to be something different and memorable, but there is just nothing about it that sticks in your memory at all. When all is said and done it leaves no lasting impression. Well, apart from the feeling that you've just wasted forty minutes of your life. Damn, I want those minutes back! The band I would compare Jumalhämärä to most is France's Deathspell Omega who, whilst not sounding overly similar in execution do bear a similarity in their approach to black metal... for the record I don't like them either!
I can find absolutely nothing redeeming to say about this album at all. I didn't enjoy it in any way. I love black metal and I don't mind experimentation, but this is just one of those albums I really never want to hear again. Unless you're a person who likes the audio equivalent of self mutilation I would advise you to avoid this one.

3 stars

Mike Thompson


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