Høðrhìørdèn – Blöd Frá Himmëlën

4 min read

Band: Høðrhìørdèn
Title: Blöd Frá Himmëlën
Label: Self-released
Release date: April 11th, 2024
Country: Italy
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Promo

This album is not a piece of music. It is a spiritual journey. How can I review an album I can’t consciously listen to? I will try to explain.

My first encounter with Høðrhìørdèn – Blöd Frá Himmëlën took me by surprise. The album was posted in a group for discussion, and I played it as background for my evening meditation in order to participate in the conversation. The intro starts with soft, yet ominous bells tolling. Soon a faint atmosphere of clean instrumentation and nature sounds grow around the slow rhythm of the bells. I relax and allow myself to see the landscape take shape around me. A misty forest at dusk. Something menacing is hiding in the surroundings, yet invisible. Then the second song starts with a blast of thunder. The rain falls and my sense of reality is lost.

From this point, I am at the mercy of this remarkable piece of mind-altering art. A clean voice almost without melody is keeping me company as a whispering scream at a distance is suggesting that the threat from the forest is creeping closer. The music forms a world around me, dark and threatening enough to open my deepest inner chambers but at the same time soothing in a way that I have not experienced before. In this world, I feel held, and supported as I approach my darkness.

I have had similar experiences of altered states of consciousness from albums by Yhdarl, Death Spell Omega, Aosoth and Reverorum Ib Malacht. They all have that hypnotic quality that my brain cannot resist, and they have all scared the shit out of me. Blöd Frá Himmëlën is a different experience from all of those. The fear is there, especially in the sudden breathing of a creature that unexpectedly occurs way to close in one of the last songs, but still, there is a sense of hope and comfort. I get the feeling that this album was created not primarily to express the dark feelings of the artist but to help the listener face their own. All through the album a kind and supportive presence is there with me, watching my struggle and fear with mild patience.

When the music ended and I returned to the physical world after the first listen, I was lying flat on the floor, tears drying on my cheeks. I was shaken but grateful. Something had been resolved in me that could not be translated into words. Something had shifted and I could feel that it was in a good way. Out of sheer gratitude, I decided to review the album. This music, or whatever it is, deserves to be discovered by many.

Then of course the problems started. Every time I played an album to listen for the review the same thing happens. The bell tolls, the atmosphere takes over, and my mind is altered. Let me tell you it has been an interesting couple of weeks. No need for mushrooms. Even now as I write the review with the faint, repetitive riffs and whispered screams of the track Miðgarðsormr in the background the words are dancing around, and I have to fight the hypnosis to stay focused on the deadline. The underworld is calling.

Now that you know the effect this music had on me (though I cannot promise the same psychedelic effect on everybody) I will try to describe it the old-fashioned way. It is obvious that Høðrhìørdèn has a background in black metal. In the ambience, the riffs, and the screams you hear the heritage. But Blöd Frá Himmëlën is not black metal. It is rather a kind of dark ambient. An atmosphere of soft instruments and sounds of nature is built up, which is sometimes enhanced by guitar riffs. The music follows no structure that I can identify. It flows like wind and weather, forming the world that allows the listeners unconscious mind to tell its own story.

The world of the music starts soft and slow. Through the album, it intensifies and recedes in waves. Repetitive riffs and distant screams come and go while the clean instrumentation is almost always present. The songs are separate, but I wish they were not. Every time a song ends a little bit too abruptly, I am thrown out of my underworld for a moment. After a crescendo somewhere near the end the ambience flattens out into a clean and soft sense of dawn, rest and new hope. The listener is gently taken back to reality after the journey into the other world.

As I write these words the end of the album approaches. I want to give in to it, close my eyes and let it take me to wherever I need to go. For some reason I trust this music to lead me, in a way that I would not trust the above-mentioned equally hypnotic works, although I submit to their mind-altering effects repeatedly anyway. This album is special. I cannot tell you why, the technicalities go beyond my knowledge. All I can tell you is that after every travel with Blöd Frá Himmëlën something has been opened in me, but nothing has been broken. I have stayed with experiences I otherwise back away from and things have gently been sorted out.

With that, there is no other way to end this review than with a 10/10 by Ask Den Hängde


10/10 Immortal Classic
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