Imminence by Russian symphonic death act Bjarm feels like a movie soundtrack with death vocals, aggressive guitar work and clean female vocals. As the album plods along, the songs tend to get a little repetitive and you can figure out the formula each track is going to follow. The vocals are similar to Epica or Sirenia but the vocals are more backing than the focal point. The classical pieces are incredibly well done and the addition of the death vocals and guitars on top gives it the needed kick in the pants. Despite the repetitiveness I found myself listening to the album repeatedly and catching something new.
Extremists will love it, but may have heard it all before
Symphonic Russian black metal? Yes, Bjarm is representing. This six-piece band was formed in 2009 in the Severodvinsk region. ‘Imminence’, the band’s debut, isn’t the most original thing in the world. Yet what it lacks in originality it surely makes up with in presentation. Epic symphonic pieces serve like grand cinematic movie scores to enhance the band’s delivery. The opening track, “Approaching the Close”, is a wind-swept, bell-ringing ode to the Apocalypse. The instrumental is the perfect curtain jerker for “Knowledge of Doom”, a frosty extreme bite filled with death vocals over a brooding mid-pace beat. Guitars churn and burn and never reach full “blackened” speed. It’s obviously influenced by the likes of Behemoth and maybe the flare of Dimmu Borgir. I like when the band moshes through the permafrost, evident on “The Nine Worlds” with its jagged stomp riffs at the midway. Extremists will love it, but may have heard it all before.