CD review THEM ‘Return To Hemmersmoor’

KK Fossor (v) Markus Johansson (g), Markus Ullrich (g), Angel Cotte (d), Richie Seibel (key) and Alexander Palma (b), also known as Them, start with ‘Diluvium’ into the third chapter of the horror/fantasy story that had its beginning in 2016 with the ‘Sweet Hollow’ album. Two years later the story continued with ‘Manor of the Se7en Gables’ and sticking to a two years pattern, the guys unveil in 2020 the grande finale. ‘Return To Hemmersmoor’ is a very solidly created heavy metal album with powerful riffs and great melodies.

The mentioned ‘Diluvium’ is a cinematic spoken word introduction with the main character returning to his roots, having revenge in his mind. The storyline isn’t more, but also not less than a horror story with no need for a happy ending neither a concrete message more than good that can morph into evil when being ignored.

‘Age of Ascension’ is the first song on the album and fans of falsetto vocals can enjoy the high-pitch screams. In case you’re not very fond of this extreme way of singing, keep on moving on the tracklist since most of the songs are equipped with regular clean vocals. The high-pitch outbursts have more an dramaturgical meaning and return just once in a while.

‘Return to Hemmersmoor’ turned out a bit heavier than the first two longplayers by showing continuity as well. While listening to the album I had to think more than once of bands like Iced Earth. ‘Free’ is such a song, being a traditional heavy metal anthem in a contemporary outfit.

‘The Thin Veil’ is a theatric tune on the album with a dramatic expression, amplified by the return of the falsetto vocal parts. But also vocal melodies are very present and they are catchy tool to amplify the storyline. Thrash metal references are build into songs like ‘Hellhounds – The Harnringers of Death’ and ‘Battle Blood’, another shade in Them’s metal. Guitars and vocals remind of the golden Bay Area thrash metal heydays and certainly enrich the variety on Them’s third longplayer. The grande finale is called ‘Maestro’s Last Stand’. It’s not solely the final track on ‘Return to Hemmersmoor’, the song is also the closing of the story by taking the listener back to ‘Sweet Hollow’. Fans of power metal should give ‘Return to Hemmersmoor’ a chance.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Diluvium
  2. Age Of Ascension
  3. The Tumultuous Voyage To Hemmersmoor
  4. Free
  5. Field of Immortality
  6. The Thin Veil
  7. Waken
  8. Memento Mori
  9. Hellhounds: The Harbingers Of Death
  10. Battle Blood
  11. Maestro’s Last Stand:
  12. Finis

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: October 30st, 2020

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