Godthrymm – A Grand Reclamation (Transcending Records)

Friday, 23rd March 2018
Rating: 8/10

Really, only good things can come from a union featuring four cagey U.K. doom vets with bands such as Anathema, My Dying Bride and Solstice on their resume. Such is the story behind the recently-christened Godthrymm, who find former My Dying Bride guitarist Hamish Glencross reprising that role along with handling lead vocals. He’s joined by ex-Solstice guitarist Chaz Netherwood, Malediction bassist Rich Mumford and current MDB and former Anathema drummer Shaun Taylor Steele. Quite the configuration here, but don’t expect a rehash of the vaunted “Peaceville 3” sound. On their debut EP, A Grand Reclamation, Godthrymm plots its own doom real estate.

The EP’s four cuts are a bit more linear than the early works of Anathema or My Dying Bride, with Glencross and Netherwood piling on riffs and transitions. It makes for a more fluid sound, if anything, but Glencross’s vocals ably fit on top, providing a sort of proto-doom metal roar that is less dour and misery than it is pure metal fury. In turn, this combination lifts the opening title track and spiraling “Sacred Soil” and “The Pantheon,” the latter hunkering down with those big, imposing doom power chords.

The variations of doom have been spun in every which direction, giving Godthrymm the somewhat unenviable task of trying to redefine it for their own sake. Instead, A Grand Reclamation reads less like an easy throwback to the early ’90s than the blunt, sharp, knifing release it is. Whatever the case may be, Godthrymm was practically assured to be good upon word of the band’s formation. A Grand Reclamation confirms it.

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