Track by Track: HAM – ‘Söngvar Um Helvíti Mannana’

Published July 17, 2017

Icelandic rock megaliths HAM recently dropped their newest album, ‘Söngvar um helvíti mannanna’, or “Songs about the Hell of Man.” We sat down with the group to hear more about their hellish world.

1. Eldur (“Fire)

HAM: This is one of many songs on the album which deals with visitors, in this case, a happy and welcome visitor—one who is missed after he leaves. A welcome visitor is not always the case in our songs, usually they are unwelcome.

In “Eldur,” this visitor has access to the box of eternal fire, which gives them a vision into eternal hell. Eternal fire is our inevitable future. In the end, everything will burn.

2. Þú lýgur (“You Lie”)

HAM: Betrayal is a strong theme here—the betrayal of old friends. Here, an old friend is attempting to pretend that everything is hunky-dory but really, that this is not so. The lies will not be forgotten and there will be no second chances. He is not fooled by any smirky smile.

3. Sýnir sá (“Visions”)

HAM: “Sýnir sá” is a double entendre that can mean “Visions” or “The One Who Shows.” This is a precautionary tale about sight, seeing a future that is not pretty. Visions from another world can be sexy, but they can be dangerous and open doors that should not be opened.

4. Skuggi (“Shadow”)

HAM: “Skuggi” is about someone who wants to be left alone sitting in the shadow on his porch. Although there is loneliness and yearning, the song also celebrates the warmth that lies in the shadow and in the closeness of the dark.

5. Gamli maðurinn og asninn (“The Old Man and the Donkey”)

HAM: This is very different from the others, the odd song out. This is a tale but we are still talking about something hellish. There is danger lurking, some discomfort. It could all happen in hell.

6. Vestur Berlín (“West Berlin”)

HAM: This was the first single released from the album. It is new wave-ish with a goth atmosphere, celebrating the declining murky world between…

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