On their new album Ir, the Danish extreme metal outfit Orm pack a bone-chilling descent into our deepest nightmares and the space beyond where they become, in a sense, reality. This sense gets communicated here thanks to the ambitious sheer force inherent in this music. Only two tracks make up this album, and both of them are almost 25 minutes long — and every moment of this music delivers fresh, sonically dynamic, but maniacally intense, frigid musical unwrappings of a looming, pulsating core.
In a broad sense, the band perform post-black metal, turning the blast beat and relentlessly riffing sensibilities of black metal into something structurally broader and significantly more accommodating of nuance. In that open space, this band pour in deeply depressing, slow but steady melodic sweeps that deliver a surprising, subtle sense of beauty via the precision with which they roll out. The minutes-long slower, gentler passages — including the one that ends the whole album — feel like an encapsulation of one falling before their destiny of one day dying, coming to terms with the onslaught before that point actually arrives. A stunning visceral sense proves readily apparent in the musical veins running alongside these parts, offering a refreshingly truthful, stunningly powerful overall portrait of our overall human condition and where we’re going.
Even considering the ample chaos packed in here, this record feels like an extremely potent reckoning with the aspects hidden away in those meltdowns that are the most sobering. When someone close to us dies, they leave a real, tangible void. They are no longer physically present with us, which bleeds across our experiences relating to that person indefinitely. They will never not be dead — at least according to any understanding of reality that we have at present. That void can pack lasting effects on our psyche like the tumult that might be more associated with acts of death and destruction themselves that are often dealt with by extreme metal bands.
If you’re ready to experience the extremes of your existence as if you were alone — all alone — with nothing but snow-coated woods around you and not even an animal in sight, dive into this fantastically relentless album.
Photo via Naya Buch
The full album releases August 30 via Indisciplinarian. Listen to an excerpt below (and find pre-order links in the YouTube description).