Hamferd @ Little Devil, Tilburg, 14 February 2018

Another week, another gig. This time around, the doom death band Hamferð were touring Europe as special guest of the Downfall of Gaia. They had just released their new album, and promoted it in Tilburg on this Wednesday evening. As usual with this club the gig started more than half an hour later than scheduled.

The club added another support act to the bill, namely the local band Treurwilg (Weeping Willow). They also play a form of doom death metal. Despite the Dutch band name all the lyrics are in English though. I didn’t really care much for the strumming semi clean guitar bits that dragged on a bit too long. The more death metal oriented parts sounded okay.

Then it was time for Hamferð from the Farao Islands who had gotten no less than an hour play time which is quite nice for a support act. All dressed in black suits, the band surprisingly started off with the title track of their previous album, Evst. Jon’s vocals sound as much impressive live as on the album. His versatile voice, be it whispers, operatic, grunts or even shouts, they add a lot of distinctiveness the songs. The newer songs don’t depart that much from the previous album, yet seem to be a bit more varied even. Yet their real strength is the songwriting, each song is heavy, has great riffs and interesting lead guitar work, while the rhythm section just keeps everything together. They ended their set with an old demo track called Odn, which I had never heard before. Excellent gig.

Many people in the audience left after Hamferð. I think less that half stayed to see the headliner Downfall of Gaia from Germany. An unknown band to me, and stylistically very different from the previous. Noisy, sludgy black metal or whatever describes them best. There is a substantial lack of riffs in this band as most of the music is based around repetitive chords played at a high pace overlaid with some lead guitar work. After a song or three I got bored with them, and after a long day travelling and it was getting late already, I left early. Not really my kind of band.

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