Orm are a relatively fresh Danish black metal combo, and should not be confused with the pioneering 70’s electro-pop duo of the same name who were famed for smuggling synths into Czechoslovakia.

Orm have fast become a welcome addition to this murky yet increasingly misrepresented culture. Their debut album from 2017 was well received by fans and critics alike, featuring six songs that averaged around eight minutes long. This sophomore effort represents a further refinement of their sound, consisting of two 24 minute compositions.

“Klippens Lyse Hal” begins slowly and deliberately, a droning distorted bass harmonising an ever-swelling guitar sound which eventually gives way to fast drums and dual vocals, one of the voices delivering a raspy growl whilst the other compliments it with tortured screaming. There are frequent changes of pace in both songs, none of which feel disjointed or out of place. The quiet melodic passages are introspective without disappearing complete down the navel-gazing rabbit hole.

One of these breaks appears shortly before the nine-minute mark, before an absolute monster half-time feel chugging riff takes your head off. Around the fourteen-minute mark, we get tranquil deftly strummed chords with a distorted bass melody at the forefront, before the melody is aped by the lead guitar. The song continues to switch between melodic passages, raging black metal and rasping vocals before coming to a satisfying conclusion.

“Baer Solen Ud” has a folky acoustic intro, three minutes in starts to build up, mysterious toms, eventually kicking in with tremolo picked melody and dual rasping vocals. This is something of a false summit, as the pace quickens further before changing pace yet again, masterfully displaying their progressive chops without descending into fretboard wankery or self-indulgent showboating. The song ends with a long dreamy folky outro, similar but somewhat less droning than the intro to “Klippens Lyse Hal”.

“Ir” is raw and unbridled at times, whilst thoughtful and melodic in others. The dual vocal attack in particular works very well. All things considered, this is a fantastic album that brings further musical progression to black metal, whilst respecting the aesthetics and sensibilities that the genre represents.

(8.5/10 Doogz)