Saturday, February 4, 2017

Black Metal History Month : Helheim - "Landawarijar"

Norway's Helheim succeeds on many levels here, one of them being the trade off between the clean vocals and the harsher rasp work really and the creepy chords really make this stand out rather than these guys just to come out of the burning church with blasting. Speaking of burning churches the are from Bergen. So they come from a city with a rich history of black metal. Thee second song is not as engaging but gallops along and carries you along for the ride with  more of a folk metal type feel. By the third song that have established their momentum and it's the interesting choice of chord progression and their attention to details as song writers that really sets them apart from the rest of the corpse painted herd.

They are not afraid to leave room for guitar solos and if you are a guitarist who has always wanted to get more into black metal but finds the guitar playing to thrive more of feral crudeness than shredding then this is a band that you need to check out. They have a lot in common with Enslaved. The solos section does drift into the title track and every thing blended together until I notices a distinct change in the mood of the riff."Ouroboros " is a much more melodic turn for the band. The do not let up on the guitar wizardry. The build finds them taking a more death metal like tone. Where they really win me over is with the passage of guitar with more of a surf rock sound, this shows me they are thoughtful and not limited to what is expected. "Synir af Heidindomr" has commanding vocals that have a more Celtic Frost like tone to them. The music underneath this goes on cruise control . Ths song is structured in a much simpler fashion that recalls the first wave of black metal. They eventually build up into more of a blast beaten direction. They close the album in a more melodic and moody manner on "Enda-dagr". This one gallops at a slower canter and finds a clean chant of vocals creating a call and response. They do create some tense and release it in a big epic metal manner. I have no problem rounding this up to a 9 for the guitar tones alone. The pagan parts never get too cheesy and are pretty understated.

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