TÖMMERMENN – Urbant Helvete

TÖMMERMENN - Urbant Helvete


Piraya Music
Release date: January 12, 2006

User Review
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Every non-English speaking country has their share of bands that prefer to stick to their mother’s tongue rather than the world wide understood English language. By doing this, they’re sacrificing most possibilities of reaching international recognition. Tömmermenn (The Lumberjacks) is one of Norway’s finest Metal acts that has chosen to write their lyrics in Norwegian. Their musical skills, form, and content don’t prevent them from reaching out to foreign shores – their language does.

Not that Tömmermenn, whatever language they would chose to sing in, would have put the world on fire if they got an international launch. Neither their debut Tolv tonn (Twelve Tons, 2004) or their newly released Urbant Helvete (Urban Hell) has got the X factor that pushes Tömmermenn up from the “very good” to the “great” shelf.

However, Urbant Helvete sure is one album that is worth coming back to revisit. Tömmermenn is hard riffing and intense, but also poetic and lurking. The production might not be of the freshest kind, but they sound experienced. They are not inventive, but honest. This is not the most dynamic band around, but the force in their music won’t leave you untouched.

They do their stuff quite different from Norwegian Metal bands you might already know. They don’t play Rock ’n’ Roll Metal like their countrymen Turbonegro, Melodic Metal like TNT, or Black Dimmu Borgir Metal. Tömmermenn’s sound is more natural, straightforward and less detail oriented than all these bands. Singer Geir Berntsen impresses –- he has a primal rawness in his voice that gives the band a unique signature. The rest of the group too makes sure that nothing is left to chance; if Metal is what you want, Metal is what they’ll give you.

Those who have had the chance to hear them play live know that they are fully capable of delivering the edge from their albums on the stage — and the other way around. On Urbant Helvete you don’t get an over decorated Christmas tree, you get a four-piece band delivering the goods. There’s no freaking keyboards or atmospheric mood stunts made by a computer. On the last track a string quartet is added, but except for this, Urbant Helvete is the effort of three hard rocking instruments and a powerful voice.

It is the overall sound and energy of the album that makes it notable, not individual standout tracks. However, there are quite a few highlights here. The rough opener “Sort – Hvitt,” “Slutten Kaller” (great guitar work), the slow riffing ”Rett,” and the dramaturgical title track are all very fine moments indeed. “Et Menneske” and ”Dere Som Står” are also great experiences, to a large extent thanks to Berntsen’s quality singing.

If you want to add some good and honest, hard and heavy Metal to your CD collection, Tömmermenn’s Urbant Helvete, or their debut Tolv Tonn, are good ways to go … but please “mind the language” …


  1. Sort – Hvitt (Black – White)
  2. Lekende (Playing)
  3. Slutten kaller (The End Calls)
  4. Urbant helvete (Urban Hell)
  5. Transitt (Transit)
  6. Et menneske (A Human Being)
  7. Storm (Storm)
  8. Samme hva (Whatever)
  9. Rett (Straight)
  10. Danser (Dancing)
  11. Betong (Concrete)
  12. Dere som står (You Who Are Standing)


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