Let’s get one thing straight from the gate: Norwegian pagan metallers Helheim are one of my favorite names to bring up when the discussions ‘’the most underrated bands in metal’’ arose, and rightfully so. Pushing the boundaries of Viking black metal for almost three decades, yet Enslaved got far bigger accolades for doing the similar thing in their niche. Helheim were at the same time pushing their singular vision into unsuspected directions, for sure they are enjoying the cult status but I feel that they should be far more recognized for doing their thing. Never mind those statements, this troop was never the one to stand still so two years after landawarijaR we have their 10th full length entitled Rignir at our hands. Mentioned predecessor was one of my favorite Helheim albums and among the very best releases for that year, so where they could go from there? In smartest direction in my opinion as the landawarijaR part 2 simply was not the option for these heathens from Bergen. At first I was slightly disappointed with Rignir as in my mind I expected something similar to the previous album that I loved so much, but then I decided not to rush with the album and let it sink in for a while. That proved to be a wise choice, as with the passing of time Rignir started to unfold to me like any good album should. As I have already mentioned, Rignir represents yet another step forward for Helheim and they have truly went into some uncharted directions. It should be mentioned that the album was inspired by local weather of their hometown, and as they have said autumn and winter can truly evoke some grim emotions in one person. And just like those times of the year are the ones when the man is often alone with himself, reflecting in solitude, Rignir possesses some kind of meditative vibe. The music is not flashy or in some kind of rush, the melodies are solemn and the songs take time to develop themselves. Black metal outburst in second track Kaldr is the most aggressive spot you will receive from Helheim this time, while the majority of Rignir passes in mentioned vibe. Of course the music is filled with characteristic marching rhythms and mighty choir sections we already got used to get from Helheim, and that can be seen as link to their old body of work which will appeal to fans to make them listen more carefully to what Helheim has offered us this time. And for this occasion they have yet again prepared one brave album which is not scared to try something new, and that is simply thing for respect in nowadays’ carbon copy metal scene. Be warned, this is not the album you will put on and headband till you drop but instead you will need quiet time to truly absorb these vibes but trust me, Helheim have put out one absolutely respectful album once again!
- Dark Essence Records CD
Trifunovic Slobodan (8)