Godthrymm is a doom metal group hailing from the northern UK compiled of old friends Hamish Glencross (Vallenfyre, ex-My Dying Bride, ex-Solstice) performing vocals as well as lead guitar, Lee ‘Chaz’ Netherwood (ex-Solstice) on guitar, Rich Mumford (Bastardised, Malediction) on bass, and last but not least Shaun ‘Winter’ Taylor-Steels (My Dying Bride, ex-Anathema, ex-Solstice) on drums. Their first release ‘A Grand Reclamation’ is due to be released on March 16th via Transcending Records.
The first track on the EP is the title track A Grand Reclamation, which takes up straight into a nostalgic throwback to early doom with an enigmatic intro consisting of the gentle plucking of strings that are soon bombarded with the heavy entrance of drums and heavy guitar work. The percussive elements on this track have a heavy influence on feel, not uncommon for a doom band, and is executed in a way that certainly does justice to the genre. The vocal work isn’t that of what you’d typically find in more modern doom, but have an almost Candlemass quality, with clean but rough technique utilized throughout; further enforcing the nostalgic doom atmosphere put forward. The track ends on a faster note than that of the first two-thirds of the song, opting for a more driving tone that allows for an impressive guitar solo over the top before an abrupt finish.
We now come to the second track of the album, Sacred Soil (which has been released on YouTube already for those interested in a taste tester). The song is a little more melodic than let on in the first track, allowing for more creative guitar input, it is also far more lyrically dense than its predecessor. The addition also differs in regards to the fact it has a far more mysterious sense to it, even incorporating some apparent eastern elements to certain guitar inserts, including the intro, which I personally found to be a nice touch and certainly added some more depth to the piece and the album as a whole.
The Pantheon is the next track on the EP, and it also happens to be the longest at over 8 minutes long. It begins with an eerie atmospheric lead-in followed by a brutal rush of noise igniting the dark and forceful overtone of the track. This track has a pulsatingly brooding quality to it, bringing to the album to a far more noticeably ominous vibe, with slow pounding instrumental work layered with foreboding guitar and vocals. The EP then takes a slight shift with the final track Forevermore which serves as more or less an outro track at under two minutes long. The addition contains gentle string strumming not unlike the very beginning of the album, slowly leading the listener out of the album.
All-in-all, I think I found myself enjoying this album more for its nostalgic quality than its actual production quality, which I feel could have used some further work as there were some areas in which I feel the band could have been tighter, though it may very well have been a post-production error or even a decision to have the EP be a little more lo-fi than others would have preferred to create it – perhaps it had been rushed even. I’ll admit though, considering the history of the members involved, I expected a little more. I’d been very interested in seeing what these guys sound like live, one reason amongst many being that the album shows elements of thrash in its vocal work on occasion and I’d be keen to see how that comes across on stage as I presume it could make for an incredible performance. The general concept and essence of the album I’ll definitely say I was a fan of considering my soft spot for early doom. At the end of the day, I could absolutely see myself recommending this band to others and I am particularly interested in seeing what they come up with in the future. I highly suggest giving the EP a listen to upon its release.