All of the content that I’ve heard so far from Canada’s Trrm, including the epic Ice Forest Rituals single ‘Ghost Eagle Kamikaze’, has been grimy, apocalyptic, and flawlessly produced, mixed, and mastered. Faced with the full tape, I’m immediately greeted with a more refined variant of that sound. ‘Ground Acidic’ continues Trrm’s obsession with dystopian imagery: ‘Thawed out my cryogenic doom, dig me out the grave’, ‘Planting seeds in the tundra, I ain’t see no growth’. I really enjoyed hearing concepts like these on the single, so I’m glad that Trrm has continued to presents himself as an arctic warrior, his skin weathered and his mind disillusioned with reality, throughout the entirety of this album.

But of course, it’s not only lyrical flair that makes Trrm’s output impressive. His gruff delivery, dogged flows and savage mini-hooks over a slow-creeping, frosty trap beat on ‘Ghost Owl Mystic’ are immensely effective, presenting an immediate versatility that continues with the coarse, macabre ‘Yung Haley Joel’ and the devastating vulnerability of ‘Novocain’. The latter is amongst the most impressive songs available here, the guest vocals a shadowy whisper behind Trmm’s heavy-handed bluntness. Indeed, follow up ‘VenusFlyTrap’ is super-melodic and lyrically raw, continuing the more honest, heart-on-sleeve songwriting techniques found on ‘Novacain’.

In general though, the second half of Ice Forest Rituals is weirder and more distorted than ever before’ ‘Gunsmoke’ is particularly effective, its threatening refrain drilling its way into the listeners memory over one of the lighter, more sprightly productions on display. ‘Ghost Eagle Kamikaze’ caps off the tape, in this context it adds an additional conceptual menace to the proceedings. Although numerous hip-hop styles are explored here, few are as blood-chilling as the atmosphere found on ‘Ghost Eagle’. Trrm’s focus on harder, heavier material has paid off massively, as every song here feels like a monolithic climb to the peak of modern rap’s songwriting achievement.

Listen to the project in full here.

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