Varang Nord – Fire of the North11th December 2015
Eyes ‘N’ Lips – Pornstar For President17th December 2015
Label: Dark Essence / Release Date: 4th December, 2015
raunijaR is the eight full-length album from the Norwegian Black Metal quartet Helheim. And, as soem of the more observant of you might have gleaned, yes, they draw a lot of inspiration, both lyrically and to their artwork from their own history (or, to put it bluntly: Vikings). Helheim is both the name of the band and the mythological realm ruled by Loki’s daughter, Hel. And as the name suggests, it is a terrible place for a viking to end up. This is explored even further throughout the tracks present on raunijaR, which are presented via means of a Black Metal structure, with more traditional instruments added to give it an almost Folk-like feel at times. The entirety of the album lasts a grand total of forty-one minutes, divided into five individual tracks, ranging in length from four-and-a-half minutes to almost twelve-and-a-half minutes. Quite a spread, yet the band manages to create a consistent, coherent and almost atmospheric flow between the whole album, no doubt the result of years and years of practice (since Helheim has a total ot twelve releases behind them, counting this one). That aside, I get the feeling that the band are comfortable in their sound and that they know exactly what they hope to achieve, as well as how. This has, in this case at least, resulted in a decent Black Metal release, one coupled with long, serene violin parts and similar instruments which makes it almost atmospheric at times. But only almost. Still, ”raunijaR”, both the track and the album as a whole is quite good.