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Label: Profound Lore Records / Release date: 18th August 2023
When Godthrymm released their debut Reflections in 2020 and on a paper, it was like Christmas Eve for epic doom metal fans. Godthrymm consists of former members of My Dying Bride, Anathema, Vallenfyre and Solstice and as such it appears as somewhat of an underground royalty within the genre.
Unfortunately, the debut album didn’t live up to the expectations, mostly due to utterly weak production. And while the album did have some rather strong moments the songwriting did lack focus and that general quality at the very core.
Fast forwarding three years and the second album, which is also second part of band’s Visions-trilogy sees the band vastly lifting their game on just about all levels. Some 20 seconds into the opener “As Titans” it’s clear that production has not only been improved, but that this album is whole another league, comparing to the debut. Distortions’ sound is fresh, clean, and rich, meaning that it’s suitable and worthy of the band.
Also, musically the band has improved, noticeably. The very gist of the songs is strong, and melodies are more convincing. Together with those Black Sabbath inspired riffs, melodies are the main driver in the seven songs which make this album. Add to that a ever present gorgeous atmosphere and you are starting to get a picture of what this album is about.
The above mentioned “As Titans” is a good representation of Distortions. With its running time of almost 12 minutes, it takes the listener on a ride throughout big riffs, strong melodies as well as experimenting with the dynamics. Halfway through the song Godthrymm shifts gears by slowing down and introducing gorgeous vocals by band’s keyboardist/singer Catherine Glencross. On the other hand main vocals, curtsy of Hamish Glencross, are this time around more dominant in the final mix, which serves the music well. His performance is diverse and besides those classic doom metal vocals he often implements more edgy approach to his singing, which wouldn’t be out of place on an early 90’s grunge rock record. This gives the album more edge to juxtapose that overall dark elegant beauty.
As mentioned earlier, the production is massively improved, so what we have here is actually a very good-sounding record, which simply does wonders for the overall experience.
Musically the band is on familiar grounds, established on the debut, which means that that band takes their time with songs, shortest of which is +6 minutes long. For the most part the band gets away with it, but couple of songs do overstay their welcome and seem too long for their own good. Oddly it’s not the case with that epic opener or “Follow Me”, the +12-minute-long track, which is one of the highlights of the album. It features guest appearance by My Dying Bride’s singer Aaron Stainthorpe and it sees the band keeping a tight grip on listeners despite its long running time and loads of diversity within the track. They maintain the good flow of the song even though it features three singers, with each their own distinctive contribution.
Another highlight is the first singe “Devils” which is a perfect example of shorter Godthrymm song, which is tightly packed and trimmed of all the unnecessary fat. Melodies and utterly catchy riffs interlock into a harmony which drives the song flawlessly during the course of almost 7 minutes.
Overall, the promising band has made an album to match the expectations the debut failed to and Distortions is deemed to be a soundtrack for the autumn, which is just about the corner. The band has already started working the final part of the trilogy, which is most certainly something to look forward to.