Gormathon – “Following The Beast” (Napalm Records)
Gor-Ma-Who? These Swedes have name that is almost as puzzling as the blurring array of styles they incorporate into their music! Blending the modern pagan metal of Amon Amarth with the traditional heavy metal of Maiden in their melodies and solos, it’s the dazzlingly diverse vocals of Tony Sunnhag that really give Gormathon the ‘wow’ factor – ranging from pagan death gruff to clean singing at times and even aspiring towards King Diamond highs – phew! Amidst Tony Sandberg’s propelling double bass drums come even more melodies piling in from Stefan Jonsson’s tasteful axework that brings forth beautiful norse bliss when it’s not in hard crunching mode. Completing this wild mixture are catchy Lordi style harmonies and deep, wailing folk metal choruses in the background! Thankfully as the diverse elements tend to take a subtle, natural approach to the core of the material it actually works a treat on songs like ‘Hellbender’, ‘Remember’ and ‘Warlords Of Doom’, offering a pleasant and not too shocking difference on some very established genres. Along with some tasteful artwork painted by artist Eliran Kantor (Testament,Iced Earth, Sodom), Gormathon comfortably straddle the divide between modern and traditional metal, but moreover ably fusing them together to get the best appeal from both worlds.