Godking is the third and most recent album by Dutch dark metal band Hymir, released on November 25. With ten tracks – being them A Storm Is Coming, Rise of the Godking, I Am Damnation, With Ravenous Bloodlust, Vanquishment, The Victor Is Crowned, Am I Not Merciful?, Dawn of the Rebellion, Wolves at the Gate and The Tyrant Dethroned – Hymir, on Godking, makes extensive use of symphonic, melodic and atmospheric elements, creating a delusional realm of lucid shadows, where opaque rhythms and sinister harmonies becomes the center of a very somber and elusive work, designed to teach you the boundaries of a fantastic journey made of sound, emotion and sensibility, all profoundly aligned together to devise a plan where nothing is what it seems.
Despite their sound being a little generic, which is something that even the label “dark metal” is becoming entitled to, Godking is an album filled with astonishing surprises and delightful rhythms, that reminded me a little some classic Samael works, from the second half of the nineties. Nonetheless, Hymir has its own style, promulgated by the dynamics of philosophic melodies, opened at the vast panoramic space of a black hole that rapidly dilutes its serenity and sorrow over the marvelous delicacy of joyful rhythms, that balances perfectly the heavier aspects of the music with its majestically melodic counterparts. Sounding sometimes as if you had become lost in a dream, Godking resonates a sincere symphony of poetic disillusion, rescued from the perpetually lost tempestuous testimonies that were deeply immersed in your soul.
With a great set of harmonic virtues, exceedingly exposed and highlighted at the stream of an unbound devotional style, the sound on Godking is properly sculpted at the crest of the beauty of dynamic and poetically designed melodies, with an interesting classical layer, shaped in the body of songs marvelously driven by an emotionally ridden content, filled with the true equation of a despondent soul.
Although I haven’t liked the album on its entirety, with its more generic parts sounding far too common or ordinary, Godking certainly elevates the “dark” subgenre of metal to another level, possibly designing for the term the beginning of an original style. Certainly, Hymir has a modus operandi of their own, and labels apart, we should never stay too grounded on superficial descriptive definitions, since all of them doesn’t have too much value. Nonetheless, Godking is definitely an album worthwhile listening. A refined, elaborate and classically sculpted work, Godking definitely belongs to the elevated paths of artistic metal albums. I think each and every fan of avant-garde and symphonic metal will enjoy listening to this beautiful record, although I strongly recommend with irrevocable specificity for Samael fans, especially the ones who appreciate everything they had done so far, with the exception of the more extreme, raw black metal work they had produced earlier in their career.