Kromheim - Kromheim
Self released
Melodic Death Metal
4 songs (20'29")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Alex

You could be excused if you thought Kromheim is a bunch of raging long haired Swedes or leatherclad Germans with a decent size budget and a label behind them. You certainly would be forgiven if you thought Kromheim was a fully staffed multimember band. At least I thought so while listening to the self-titled debut EP. So imagine my surprise learning this was the work of one non-threatening looking, unassuming, almost smiling Pole Mikolaj Poplawski. The wonders of technology I guess.

But, yes, Kromheim is a one-man band playing melodic death metal. The promo sheet says it is for the fans of Amon Amarth, Kalmah or Dark Tranquillity. The EP is nothing like the melancholic rage of the latter, it does have some rapid thrashy staccato Kalmah rhythms (Freedom), but when it gets to Amon Amarth, sure, bring on the comparison. To be more exact though Kromheim is no early Amon Amarth, but more polished, much more power metal leaning Amon Amarth. In fact, if you removed any of the extreme metal vocals, and Mikolaj is in no way a towering brute like Johan Hegg, Kromheim may actually be closer to the sound of Orden Ogan than anything else. Adding to staccato riffs in Freedom and also Prayer are some audible bass lines, air raid siren guitar lead and a little wooden sounding snare drums. Vocals on Freedom and Prayer are actually multilayered, almost semi clean in spots and adding title fitting exalted shouts in Prayer. Revenge is even closer to an Amon Amarth worship, with rolling guitar tremolos laid over double bass. There is a quick dreamy spot in the middle, but this song is mostly a thundering experience.

Closer Storm of the Gods brings out an epic side of Kromheim. Gathering strength with a guitar lead and drum bursts, the song finally launches into a melodic progression tremolo and machine speed double bass. Keyboard and flute emerging around 4’ reveals Kromheim’s new dimension, and the melody that follows reminded me of Insomnium’s In The Halls of Awaiting. The main theme and epic melodic death return, before piano dissolution closes the EP.

The EP is a very competent effort, be it the full band or one individual, Kromheim may be a one flash in a pan, but maybe the journey will continue. Getting a whole album full of this slate may get a little tedious without distinctly different sounding songs, so it will be interesting to see how Kromheim will fare in the future.

Killing Songs :
Storm of the Gods
Alex quoted 82 / 100
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