From the dark and rainy west coast of Norway something stirs, the long winter nights appear to give rise to youthful creativity and the current crop of bands regularly deliver the goods. Out of this creative Norwegian maelstrom come Himmellegeme (which translates to ‘Celestial Body’), with their dark and atmospheric psychedelic rock that utilises some heavy hitting riffs. Their journey started in 2015 when they began writing and playing gigs around Bergen, the album being recorded during the autumn and winter of 2016 with a deal signed with Karisma Records in February 2017, and all credit to Karisma for encouraging and nurturing Himmellegeme and other exciting bands in Norway. The album was recorded at Broen Studios, one of Bergen’s best, with production handled by Anders Bjelland (of Electric Eye and Hypertext) who added his unique sonic touches.
Myth of Earth is an album brimming with ideas, sounding fresh and perfectly paced with never a dull moment throughout its thirty-eight minute running time. The seven songs are full of chilling melodies, moments of beauty cut through at times with some heavy riffing, the lyrics having a melancholic feel, written in both Norwegian and English. This works really well and the choice of language appears to fit the individual songs, Himmellegeme have tried to reflect past events from their own live, and that of others in their music.
The title song has a slow build up which helps to create a melancholic mood, with touches of menace. As it develops it gets into an almost bluesy groove, building towards a great guitar solo ending, all perfectly paced. This feeling of melancholy continues on Breathe in the Air Like it’s Fire, again a slow but excellently paced and beautiful song. The pace changes on Kyss Mine Blodige Hender (which translates as, ‘Kiss My Bloody Hands’), after a slow start, they get their rocks on with a seventies classic rock feel laced with bluesy touches, whilst all the time maintaining that fresh new feel.
Throughout Aleksander Vormestrand’s voice is clear and engaging, supported by Hein Alexander Olsen’s fluid and sharp guitar while the keyboards of Lauritz Isaksen help to create the atmosphere of the songs. He shines on the blues piano led opening of Fish, giving us some great organ towards the ending. The rhythm section of Erik Alfredson on bass and Thord Nordii on drums hold things together, providing the drive and power but, equally, some subtlety during the gentler moments and never over powering proceedings, just enhancing them.
Himmellegeme wrap things up with a ten minute tour de force which pulls together what has gone before without repeating themselves. The gentle opening with Aleksander’s almost yearning vocals gives way to some bright guitar work, which continues until the midpoint where things start to break up with some Floydian keyboards and drums. The guitar tries to get things back to the original theme as things fade out atmospherically to the end.
This is a really well paced album which has a feeling of overall warmth, an excellent debut which helps to confirm my belief that there is some great music coming out of Norway at the moment. Get it and enjoy this classy debut release.
01. Nattervan (5:08)
02. Hjertedød (4:05)
03. Myth of Earth (5:33)
04. Breathe in the Air Like it’s Fire (5:40)
05. Kyss Mine Blodige Honder (4:03)
06. Fish (3:50)
07. Fallvind (10:38)
Total Time – 38:57
Aleksander Vormestrand – Guitar, Vocals
Hein Alexander Olsen – Lead Guitar
Lauritz Isakson – Keyboards
Erik Alfredson – Bass
Thord Nordii – Drums
Record Label: Karisma Records
Country of Origin: Norway
Date of Release: 6th October 2017