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Åsgårds Fall
(Dark Essence Records)

I've never been that impressed by HELHEIM. I have given their 2 first releases "Jormundgand" and "Av Norrøn Ætt" a good deal of spins during the years, though got over the band when I gave "Yersinia Pestis" too many spins when I had to review it back in 2003. That was a boring and quite trivial release - and since then I haven't laid ears upon a new HELHEIM release, until I started to review "Åsgårds Fall" - the new EP from the Norwegians. The title track consists of 2 parts separated by an interlude. A massive and epic track - a tour de force of atmospherically melodic Viking Metal with a touch of Black Metal. Beautifully composed with the right hooks and captive passages that makes one want to listen a lot to it - wants one to be drawn into the universe of 'Åsgards Fall' and stay there. I haven't been this captivated by Viking Metal unless the label is ENSLAVED or when EINHERJER and FORLORN had their heydays. 'Helheim pt. VII' a small strange interlude that doesn't do much, besides making track 4 'Duality And Ulver' much more brutal, due to the contrast from the instrumental track. Though that doesn't take anything away from 'Duality And Ulver' a catching and brutal epic Black Metal tune with great riffing and an awesome cold and noisy guitartone. The vocals are straight from the forest, well performed and grim. Even before I saw the name of the track, I couldn't help thinking of old ULVER, when listening to it. Perhaps "En Hymne Til Ulven I Manden"? Taken from HELHEIM's upcoming album that is set to be released early next year. If the album is in the vein of 'Ulver And Duality', it is going to be a killer! The album is rounded off by 'Jernskogen' in an updated 2010 version - originally to be found on 2000's "Blod & Ild" album. A furious and aggressive Black Metal attack with a nice cold and blazing atmosphere, some great melodies and leads and vocals from hell! A healthy dose of grandiose epic Metal and a couple of brutal and dark Black Metal slashers with the Norwegian Viking Metal spirit held high - is what this EP offers. Just the title track makes the release worth the money - and then you have the 2 last tracks as a nice bonus! and

Anders Peter Jørgensen

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