Orm - Orm album review

Melodic black metallers go overboard on the symphonics

Cover art for Orm - Orm album

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As black metal moves in divergent stylistic directions, its traditional principles still hold value. Melody and extreme metal will form fire on ice when handled with care, as Dissection’s small but masterful discography proves. Danish upstarts Orm favour this strand of sorcery, and while they’re not at the majestic level of Enslaved or Vinterland, their debut is spirited in its championing of NWOBHM-turned-tremolo twin guitars and Nordic grit. Across five songs their dual vocals (one snarls like Grutle from Enslaved, the other favours a lower growl) and heavily rhythmic thrusts are often striking in their aggression. But positives are hampered by ill-fitting choral voices, lengthy structures with dips in direction that weaken the attack and a reliance on the same songwriting tricks – particularly the fake finish into a raging blast. If Orm jack up the Maiden melodies, cut out the unnecessary arrangement bloat and burn all symphonic ornaments, they might manifest the chaotic landscape of their Paolo Girardipainted artwork.