Label: Hammerheart Records
Release date: 3 November 2023
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording
“Tundra” is the third full-length album released by Jord, now a full band. What Jörgen Ström started as a solo Black Metal project in 2020, it has evolved into the trio that Jord is nowadays, being Jörgen Ström in charge of vocals, bass and keys; Sebastian Svedlund playing guitars; and Stefan Jansson beating the drums.
Well, this was just an introduction to the band that put out one of the most beautiful and captivating albums I’ve listened to this year. I’ll try to explain my impressions about “Tundra” but I’ll warn you, I can’t help but put a lot of emotion here. And it’s just because this music is highly touching. The kind of Metal that moves me.
Labeled as Atmospheric Black Metal, “Tundra” takes some other influences and has a lot of elements to enjoy. It starts with “Mara” in a soft way, like the beginning of a calm journey; the music is in contrast with the raspy vocals by Jörgen. But it’s not a very harsh voice, it has the exact amount of roughness, for me it’s perfect. And, do you listen to that bass, showing predominance at some points? Be ready for more of its deep sound, like in the following track, “Själens Dod”, which also contains a fantastic guitar solo and a lot of variations at drums. This is probably my favorite song of the album. It’s captivating right from the start, every note of it lives now in my head.
But choosing one song above the others is very difficult here. I can find remarkable things in each of them, like the dreamy and ethereal intro for “The Fall”. This song in particular is full of melancholy, the piano starts playing a simple melody and then the rest of the instruments join, in a natural way. Vocals are maybe a bit more harsh here, more forceful, dark… The tempo is quite calmed at the beginning and it’s not that it speeds a lot. The piano is always there and it’s simply fantastic, and THAT guitar solo makes me melt… Also striking are the drums and all the change patterns through this song.
“Kyla” is another interesting track, the title means “Cold” and this is the main feeling I have while listening to it. Maybe because of the slower parts, when guitars and drums build a menacing landscape; or it’s because Jörgen’s voice sounds a tad harsher than in previous songs (and his screams!); truth is that “Kyla” brings extreme cold with it.
Sometimes I feel a bit carried away by the music, but as I said: I can’t help it, some albums have a deep meaning and emotion to me. Every song on “Tundra” depicts a different landscape, in general with a cold sensation, fitting the album title. These three men do some “magic” when the guitar in “The Fall” plays that emotional solo with the piano in the background. Also in “Vilddjurets hjärta”, there’s something “magic” in the way drums claim the control with their rich and varied patterns. “Snöffödd” has an amazing way to start, slower drums and the guitar repeating the same riff again and again, and the use of some clean vocals that seem to come from far away, half blurred, leads to the break in the middle of the song. Then, ethereal choruses, guitars and delicate piano, good aerial vibes until the weight of reality overwhelms the listener again.
The amazing cover art of the album was painted by Jörgen Ström himself. And two guest vocalists, Ken Romlin (Night Crowned) and Erik Molarin (ex-Beseech) contribute to the excellence of “Tundra”. Perfection is about details, and there are so many of them in this album that it deserves the highest rating. 10/10 Sílvia
10/10 Immortal Classic
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre**