With alchemical precision Sweden’s NYMF has managed to distill a potent elixir of stoner metal, doom, and thrash with minute traces of death metal for their second full-length album ‘From the Dark’. This curious, multi-headed beast of an album may sound as if it is composed of incongruous elements, but the band largely manages to weave the disparate styles into a cohesive whole while also including a fair share of hooks. Filthy distortion, occasional double kick drums, and wide-ranging vocals are threaded throughout the thirteen tracks that comprise ‘From the Dark’, all of which are mortared together on a foundation of downbeat stoner rock.
Composed of veterans of the Swedish rock and metal scenes, most notably The Graviators, NYMF’s sophomore outing is, at times, filled with familiar elements, particularly the vocals of Niklas Sjöberg. Though his approach used with the 70’s influenced hard rock of The Graviators is still ever present, Sjöberg often ventures into grittier territory with a gravelly intonation and even moderately harsh vocals as found on the album’s standout second track, “Fear of the Doom”.
‘From the Dark’ is, essentially, an interesting journey through some of the musicians’ favorite genres of music. It would seem as if anything from the past forty-or-so years of hard rock and metal is fair game as long as it is has a dark and evil edge to it. If nothing else, ‘From the Dark’ exists as an interesting stylistic experiment that is as gratifying as it is puzzling. Despite any disparities, the album is held together with a killer guitar tone, some excellent vocal melodies, and an overall mood that dwells on the darker side of the spectrum.
Words: Steve Miller