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BRETT PIT - review
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HELHEIM
HELHEIM
Landawarijar
(Dark Essence Records)
55:13min

Norwegian based HELHEIM are active since 1992 and they are amongst the very few bands that still stick to traditional Viking Metal. No booze ridden slapstick comedy or excessive use of medieval instruments like flutes, lutes or bagpipes. The band started around the same time as ENLSAVED but somehow never got the same attention, although, speaking in musical terms, HELHEIM were on the same level back in the early / mid 1990s. And still are, as "Landawarijar" (full-length number nine) proves. The album starts with 'Ymr', a slow and sluggish track, blurred guitars are teaming up with grim and clean vocals. During the next songs the pace is sped up from time to time but the four guys are always returning to a more slow-downed and mid-tempo rhythm. Especially this interplay is what makes the seven tracks so enjoyable. Not to forget the exquisite melodies, evoking feelings of despair, melancholy and unimpressed grimness. Just listen to the titletrack, an excellent masterpiece of Viking Metal. If you do not feel like standing on a mountain somewhere in the woods and reflecting life with all its ups and downs, then you never experienced the magic of an album like "Vikingligr Veldi". HELHEIM made a similar evolution like their soulmates ENSLAVED, adding progressive elements (clean vocals, songstructures far beyond the usual scheme and riffs reminding more of Progressive Metal) to their music. On “Landawarijar” those ingredients are not getting out of control, although the album may sound too avant-garde for some close-minded listeners. www.facebook.com/helheimnorway, https://helheim.bandcamp.com, www.darkessencerecords.no

Mirco Szymyslik

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