Consisting of former members of My Dying Bride and Solstice, it isn’t too surprising to see Godthrymm encompass those sorts of influences on their first full-length album Reflections. The former’s influence is especially apparent in the dark mood and drawn out riffing method, but the almost working-class execution contrasts their forebears’ more poetic, erudite nature. Perhaps there are shades of Solstice in the wistfully watery atmosphere, but it’s more in line with Lamentations than anything they’ve been doing lately.
Going along with that, the musicianship is sufficiently massive. The lineup has gone to a trio from the quartet seen on 2018’s A Grand Reclamation EP, but things never feel lacking thanks to the hearty emphasis on glacial pacing and a colossal tone. I must admit that the vocals’ burly nature led me to initially expect a one-dimensional performance, but they show some real emotional dexterity with great lines to boot. The female backing vocals on “Monsters Lurk Herein” and “Cursed are the Many” are also a nice touch.
The songwriting also offers some fantastic tracks despite the consistently slow pacing. It feels like cheating to have “The Grand Reclamation” show back up after its appearance on the EP, but it’s still an incredible highlight thanks to the passionate howls and climactic speed-up. Fortunately, the new songs are just as noteworthy with “The Sea as My Grave” and “The Light of You” serving up melancholic haze, and “We are the Dead” puts in a particularly memorable refrain.
Overall, Reflections has a lot more to offer than its somewhat meat and potatoes template would initially suggest. The presentation can feel bare-bones by epic doom standards, but the splendid riff work is greatly elevated by the emotional displays at work. It never gets as sophisticated as their forebears but doesn’t particularly need to be, and it only gets more endearing with further listens. If you’d like to hear Hamferd’s oceanic atmosphere combined with Apostle of Solitude’s emotional pathos, consider checking this out.
“The Sea as My Grave”
“We are the Dead”
“The Light of You”
“The Grand Reclamation”