Jumalhamara - Resignaatio
Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions
Experimental Black Metal
6 songs (40'45")
Release year: 2010
Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions
Reviewed by Alex

I was having a serious case of writer’s fear trying to compose a review for Finnish Jumalhamara. I am usually not the one to be at a loss for words, but this mysterious black/noise entity, where bandmembers play instruments randomly, can certainly give you pause.

For one – I do not recommend tuning in to Resignaatio when you are feeling tired. The aural concoction of this “adult oriented black metal” will simply skip you by. Even when feeling relaxed, this album is not the one where you can plug in randomly, start at any given spot and pick it up right away. I found myself needing 3 to 5 min on average to get on the right wavelength, to channel the opening cacophony and rawness of Ecstasy in Blood - A Ballad, before realizing the mastery of Jumalhamara note bending which eventually sucks you in, just like that child’s toy when you throw in a coin and see it slowly disappear into the vortex circling around the cylinder. So the best advice I could give you for Ecstasy in Blood - A Ballad and the closer Of Enlightenment and Righteousness pt. II is to go with the flow, position yourself “parallel” to the music and let those bent notes linger in your head. Even with this advice, Of Enlightenment and Righteousness pt. II is bound to test the limits of your aural pain and comprehension, it being the most cacophonous track on the album with blacksmith hammers serving for percussion. And don’t believe in A Ballad tag for Ecstasy in Blood for a second. You surely wouldn’t, when “adult black metal” (I love the notion) is involved. The track will take you through a number of torturous slowdowns and psychotic accelerations additionally using some cavernous synthesizers. Balladic, however, it is not.

The mid-portion of the album is a bit easier to get into and characterize as the compositions tend to use more traditional sounds, with song structures themselves be nothing but traditional. Haul is set to an angry stoned strum of what could be called extreme Babylon Whores. Storm in Coming, 596 and the title track itself, are significantly more reserved. Storm in Coming begins with a staticy funeral doom, 596 is sad and elegiac, seeking dissonance, but not allowed to travel there, until it painfully bubbles over into the title track. Resignaatio then proceeds to use the same quiet depressing melodies squeezing them into a simmering cauldron.

And if I forgot, there are also voices on this album, provided probably by the members in random as well. On Storm in Coming, these are the cleaner moans of monks buried somewhere in the catacombs of hidden unknown heretofore monastery. 596 is a single vocal line, withdrawn and cold. This same voice grows entirely desperate on Resignaatio, and in spots provides a constant non-stop lament. Atop of the reserved floating melodies this voice makes for a strange effect of the spirit trying to break free from the trap it will surely never come out from. This one ought to put you in a resigned mood indeed.

Fringy black metal with a fair amount of noise and experimentation, Jumalhamara is elitist and needs its very selective audience to get in the right, trance-like, mood. If you can describe this slab any differently than I did, drop me a line. This one will challenge, no question, and the very Dali-like cover art is a precursor of things to come.

Killing Songs :
Haul, 596, Resignaatio
Alex quoted 75 / 100
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