The mythos of Tolkien has often found its way into numerous metal bands. His fantasy worlds and the creatures that inhabit it provide the source material for many albums in our collections. Such is the case for Virginia’s Foehammer—named after the mighty sword, Glamdring, crafted by the High Elves of Gondolin. Despite their fantastical tendencies, the sludge-ridden doom outfit does well to toe the line between subtle inspiration and full-blown worship. In fact, much of their newest full-length album, Second Sight (out now on Australopithecus Records) casts its spells far outside of Tolkien’s realm.
"With Second Sight, we tried to push farther into developing our own mythos and really letting these songs exist in their own world without its being an out-and-out concept record," Cardinell told Noisey. "There are themes that weave throughout however—astral projection, ritual magick, Norse mythology, and of course, death. As the lyrics took shape, it started to lean toward somewhat of a nautical theme which we brought to fruition with the help of our artist Luciana Nedelea."
"Musically we have tried to maintain the crushing yet meditative nature of our early material while pushing the more cerebral, outré aspects of the songwriting. There are definitely a lot more dark corners to be explored on this one."
Foehammer as a musical entity merges punishing sludge metal with death doom's glacial pace. as is crystallized perfectly on momentous album closer, “The Seer.” Over the course of 16 minutes, the band members unleash a lurching, lacerating groove over tales of a dying cult. Their gritty tone and doomed, dirge-like tempos make for a riveting dichotomy; at times, it’s low and sinister enough to suffocate a listener, then elsewhere, the relatively ambient reprieves allow moments of respite.
Stream the album below, order it here, and explore those dark corners for yourself.
Cody Davis is tuned low on Twitter.