Bret Rumbeck
Writer
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Blog

Here you'll find reviews of music, discussion of sports, social/political commentary and thoughts on the professional world. 

Album Review: Malämmar's 'Vendetta'

We’re taught from a young age to never judge a book by its cover. While good life advice - now even more so in a Trump America - it’s a rule that people rarely follow. Be truthful with yourself for a moment, and think of the times this week – or even today – when you judged a person, place, food or thing without knowing an iota about him/her/it.

Here, I’ll raise my hand and be the first to share with the sewing circle: I judge every Seattle Seahawks fan before he/she opens his/her 12 Fan fat mouth to yell about the Legion of Boom or the doubleplusgoodness of Russell Wilson. My automatic assumption is the person knows about as much about football as some youth football sideline dad. Thirty seconds or less of football 'conversation' proves me right at nearly every encounter. 

Music is no different. Yesterday, I just happened to head over to Bandcamp to look for new bands. The website has a great crawl showing each album sold at that moment, which is an amazing feature. Seriously, go take a look and see how much music is sold in just a few minutes.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear? But an album cover with a woman coming out of a grave, holding a lantern and smoke coming from her eye sockets! 

I judged. I clicked. I listened. I bought.

My friends, please welcome Malämmar and their LP “Vendetta” to the music collection.

The songs are not titled, but listed as Roman numerals. Why’s that? The band states, “Six instrumental tracks where an epic and old picture, laden with iron and copper, myths and walls, battles and prisoners prevails. A heavy cadence, overwhelming, unsettling and war traverses the howl [sic] LP. There are no hymns because there are no celebrations.

You will not find “Vendetta” played while you sip your bubbly mimosa and open your perfectly wrapped gifts to celebrate the Birth of Christ on a bright, sparkly Christmas morning. No sir.

This is the music the Cherusci played to honor a dead brother who’d fallen in battle. They’d place a handful of cold earth on his bloodied corpse, gulp the last of their mead to toast his life and then echo Malämmar throughout the Teutoburg Forest to mourn the loss of another dead hero.

Malämmar hails from Barcelona, Spain and delights our eardrums with a heavy, thick doom sound.  “Vendetta” is a quick journey through a very war-torn, snowy landscape. My life goal is now to have this album flowing through my headphones while I hunt a deer in a dark, cold forest and sacrifice it’s life with a sharp arrow from my bow, and then eat the beast’s hot liver as the album comes to a booming end. 

That is, as soon as I can find a warm jacket and get vaccinated for whatever diseases a raw deer liver carries.

I’ve judged for you, so take a moment and stream “Vendetta” for free on Bandcamp. Also, feel free to browse my Bandcamp collection, especially if you’ve grown weary of what the masses today call music.