Here we have the ninth full length of Norwegian pagan metal overlords Helheim which continues down the path of rejuvenation that the band took on 2010’s Åsgards fall. Few albums prior to that release were a bit questionable, but on that EP (dedicated to Quorthon, by the way) the band gathered their strengths, focused on creating pure Viking art and got reborn again. Two albums Heiðindómr ok mótgangr and raunijaR have followed and strengthened further this direction, and I can say now that their new offering landawarijaR is perhaps the strongest of this whole bunch. Helheim is still strongly waving the flag of pure unaltered pagan metal and by this I mean pagan metal in its original inception, not the atrocious deviations of the genre that plagued the scene in the last decade. Helheim means dark metal strongly taking its craft from black metal and dedicating its whole existence to translation of ancient Norse beliefs into the music. landawarijaR is that kind of story but this time Helheim have written simply more focused songs, in my opinion at least. Their music here is atmospheric and raw in the same time, and all of the seven songs are very well crafted so they get their point across easily and drag you immediately into the world of landawarijaR. I really admire the ambience that this album just emanates as releases like this are truly a breath of fresh air on today’s pagan metal scene. Even though it is equipped with good production skills, this music carries timeless vibe that is largely forgotten and it feels good to find it nowadays, even more so from people who were there since the beginning and helped to create the niche in the first place. For my money, landawarijaR is the strongest album that has emanated in 2017 and I have already heard a lot of them.
- Dark Essence Records CD
- Trifunovic Slobodan (8,5)