The Danish black metal ensemble ORM (‘serpent’) is now ready to let go of its second album that has been given the title ‘Ir’. ORM formed in 2015 and in 2017 the band released its first and eponymous album through Indisciplinarian. ‘Orm’ arose with its mythical tales of man and nature accompanied by a grandiose, melodic yet raw and direct black metal which in an idiosyncratic manner unites music and narrative into a en embodied and present whole.
The next chapter of ORM’s history is ‘Ir’. The album consists of the two compositions ‘Klippens Lyse Hal’ (‘The Bright Hall Of the Cliff’) and ‘Bær Solen Ud’ (‘Carry Out the Sun’) while the band has produced themselves and also designed the record’s visual side. On ‘Ir’, the contrasts are bigger, the complex is more complex, the simple more simple and the melodies are poignant and contagious. The form is elongated, dynamic and adventurous, and the musical ambition and performance bears witness to an ensemble void of compromise and led solely by its own flame – where ever it may lead to. The album’s narration revolves around the impermanence of all things and is a personal reflection on how this aspect is contained within the human drama, religion and nature.
Musicologist Tore Tvarnø Lind has taken his time to listen and formulate these words on ‘Ir’:
“To lose somebody is a shared experience. Ir (‘verdigris’) is a way of carrying on with a loved one who is no longer in life, who decidedly put an end to it. Struggling not to dissolve, Orm creates a mythology to withstand grief and to find meaning in fate. A doubtful comfort, though, the myth betrays, and the answer is but an empty echo.
Ir is a patient monster, a malachite-born with a thousand green eyes, a black metal dies irae. Ir is the day of wrath with the solemnity of a requiem. Orm carries out the dead, who is sunlight, down ancient and secret pathways to the halls of light. A paradox, Ir is also the means to learn to embrace and respect the other’s will to die. Clad in black, Orm sees the dead sprouting from the mold anew. The tenderness in the elegy voices the complexity of grief itself.
The drama is local, and death within close proximity. Topographical designators such as Opalsøen and the Syvmaster that grew by Bastemosen, places the mournful pilgrimage that is Ir in the midst of the ancient woods of Bornholm, the easternmost island of Denmark. Restless memories haunt the wildlife here. Ir is an oath spoken with the mythical creatures of the underground, a sacred oath to fight oblivion. Ir is the black riders armed with hammer-horns, impure voices, and swords of strength, who thunder toward the edge of the Hammer cliff in glorious dust. Ir is the sun setting over the glow of humankind.
The ice skating silhouettes in the monochrome pictures are long gone. We shall all share their fate, but not just yet. They remind us that we, too, will be lost one day. Maybe hoping that love shone upon our face once. Underneath the ice, in waters dark and murky, the worm dwells over grey granite. The worm is an heir of a bygone era, at a time when the moon was humble.”