Archive for Helheim

Norwegian dark metallers Aeternus announce new bassist

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 11th April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Norway’s premier dark metallers Aeternus announced today that Krakow frontman and bassist Frode Kilvik, who had recently played on stage with the band for their appearance at this year’s Inferno Festival, would be joining as full-time bassist. As is so often the norm with bands, his role with Krakow, the band he co-founded in 2005, will remain unchanged.

Aeternus itself was formed in 1993 in Bergen, Norway, by guitarist and frontman Ares, and, until the release of the latest album …And The Seventh His Soul Detesteth, on Dark Essence Records at the beginning of April, the band had remained relatively quiet since the release of the previous album Hexaeon. Aside from Ares, who is the only remaining member from the original line-up, and Kilvik, Aeternus includes Specter (ex-Gravdal) on guitars and Phobos (Gravdal, Malsain, Galar) on drums. Commenting on the new addition, Ares said: “There is no doubt that Specter and Phobos infused the band not only with new blood, but also with a fresh perspective. Frode’s arrival will expand on that for sure. It was obvious from his performance at Inferno that he has an incredible stage presence that fits perfectly with the attitude we all project when we play live, and his considerable musical skills are well-able to handle the sometimes complex demands of Aeternus’ music . Not to mention the fact that he’s a great guy, which is probably even more important, and we are all very much looking forward to working as a unit.

…And The Seventh His Soul Detesteth, which is the band’s seventh album, was produced at the Conclave and Earshot Studios in the band’s home town of Bergen by Bjornar E. Nilsen (Vulture Industries, Black Hole Generator). The first pressing of the album includes Aeternus’ 1995 Dark Sorcery EP as a bonus. All music for the album is by Aeternus, whilst the concept and lyrics are by Helheim’s V’gandr, who is also a former member of Aeternus.

More information about Aeternus can be found on the band’s Facebook page at this location.

Taake Hits The Road For 20th Anniversary Tour With Helheim and Orkan

Posted in News with tags , , , on 18th January 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Norwegian black metal titans Taake today announced the dates for the upcoming European tour which is part of the band’s 20thAnniversary celebrations. Supporting Taake on the tour will be Norway’s Viking metal raiding party Helheim, who themselves celebrated their own 20th Anniversary last year. Also on the tour will be thrashers Orkan whose line up includes members of Taake, Byfrost and Gravemachine. Routing for the 10 date tour as follows:

FEBRUARY
Thu 21, Baroeg, Rotterdam (NL)
Fri 22, Iduna, Drachten (NL)
Sat 23, Helvete, Oberhausen (DE)
Sun 24, Magasin 4, Brussels (BE)
Mon 25, Glazart, Paris (FR)
Tue 26, Ferrailleur, Nantes (FR)
Wed 27, CCO, Lyon (FR)
Thur 28, United Club, Turin (IT)
MARCH
Fri 01, Z7, Pratteln (CH)
Sat 02, Nifflheim Festival (DE) (HELHEIM only)

Of course, if you’re in the UK, you will need to travel to see Taake on their 20th anniversary tour – Disappointing, we know, that they’re not hitting the UK.

Formed in 1993, Taake’s contribution to the Norwegian Black Metal Scene has been considerable; with founder Hoest remaining true to his Black Metal roots, whilst still being able to breathe life and originality into the genre even after twenty years. The band also  recently announced the impending release of a double Anniversary CD which will not only feature exclusive new tracks, but also rare and previously unreleased material as well as alternative versions and recordings that have, until now, only been available on vinyl. This is certainly exciting news for CD collectors. Gravkamre, Kroner og Troner (Tombs, Crowns and Thrones), will be released on Dark Essence Records on the 1st of March in Norway and the 4th of March world-wide.

More information about Taake can be found on the band’s website at this location.

Six tracks from Taake, including the brand new track “Et Pust av Oeyne” from “Gravkamre, Kroner og Troner” can be heard at this location.

 

Interview with V’gandr [Helheim]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 15th November 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Helheim have been a lasting and destructive force on the Norwegian metal scene, while not achieving the same amount of commercial success as other black metal acts from Norway such as Dimmu Borgir or the infamy achieved by Varg Vikernes, the band have continued their reign of Norse-influenced terror in their own way. Regarded as pioneers of the Norwegian Viking Metal scene, Helheim have been apart of the scene for 20 years and with the release of Heiðindómr ok mótgangr last year, the band show no signs of slowing up.

Nico: Helheim is the abode of the Norse deity Hel, daughter of Loki. What inspired you to adopt this as the band’s name?

V’gandr: We adopted the name back in 92 after numerous of other names. We wanted to have a Norse approach to our lyrics where we had focus on the darker and more sinister parts of the Norse mythology and thus we chose Helheim as our name.

N: Heiðindómr ok mótgangr is the band’s latest album, what are the main lyrical concepts behind the album?

V: The main focus are circled around the four viten & mot parts which are based on the words of the wise (Odin) and his håvamål. Other than that the lyrics deal with human nature and its lacking of truthfulness towards the pagan. It’s all about longing as well as restrained hate. Heathendom is resistance and that’s what we’re all about.

N: What would you say are your favourite tracks from Heiðindómr ok mótgangr and why?

V: I’m proud of the whole album and every song got its moments, but the opening track kind of sets the mood and standard, so I really like that one.

N: Helheim have been a dominating force in both the Norwegian metal scene and the international metal scene. What do you feel has been the key to the band’s long-lasting career?

V: A dominating force? That’s the first time I’ve heard that, but thanks, hehe. I’ve always felt a bit aside the scene as we’ve never strived for fame or acknowledgment, but rather being truthful towards ourselves. Well, we’re a little family now and none of us are ready to leave it just yet. We have no recipe to how, we just have been around for 20 years and we have more to say.

N: Even though Heiðindómr ok mótgangr was released last year, do you have any plans for a new release?

V: Oh yes. All the material for our next release is ready and we’ll record it next year. Beware!

N: As we’re nearing the end of 2012, does the band have any plans for 2013? Providing the world doesn’t end on 21st December.

V: Release a new album and continue playing live. No more, no less.

N: What song do you feel defines Helheim as a whole?

V: Hmmm, a hard one. I can’t only pick one actually. There’s a few tracks that kind of adds up Helheim and that is: Jormundgand, Jernskogen, Dualitet Og Ulver and maybe Åsgards Fall 2.

N: When it comes to writing new material, where does the band draw inspiration from? And how does songwriting happen for Helheim?

V: We are our own inspiration believe it or not, but for Åsgards Fall MCD we were directly inspired by Bathory. Myself and H’grimnir creates music pretty much the same way we did 20 years ago and that is with and none-amplified electric guitar, hehe. And so the writing begins. Inspiration come from the inside and one song or idea can lead to another.

N: If you could replace the soundtrack to any film/movie with your own music, which one would it be and why?

V: That movie haven’t been made yet.

N: How would you describe your music to new listeners?

V: Passionate, serious, dark and beautiful. A view into the Norse.

N: As Helheim have been around for 20 years, you’ll obviously have a wealth of experience and wisdom. Is there any that you’d like to pass on to the new bands that emerging on the scene?

V: Nah, not really. Bands should do what the fuck they think is right for themselves. We learned the business the hard way and got nothing for free and I’m glad it was like that. It made us rise up and keep on going and learning from our mistakes. I think this is the right way for most bands to do it as then you see who got it and who’s not. Well, that was an advise after all…more or less. Hohohooo!

N: If you could be any hero or deity from Norse mythology, which one would it be and why?

V: I really can’t answer such a question as it wouldn’t make any sense. I never look to heroes or deities or gods or whatever. That’s what we’re trying to say in Helheim, you know. The gods are the tools of the trade.

N: Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?

V: As I’ve said before, I say again; heathendom IS resistance. Remember that kids, now go eat a kebab.

For further news and updates about Helheim:

http://helheim.com/
https://www.facebook.com/helheimnorway
http://www.myspace.com/helheimnorway

 

Helheim – Heiðindómr ok mótgangr [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 18th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Helheim
Album: Heiðindómr ok mótgangr
Release year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal/Viking Metal

Helheim, named after the world in Norse mythology, are one of Norway’s oldest and most revered Viking Black Metal bands. “Heiðindómr ok mótgangr”  is the follow up to their mini album “Asgard’s Fall” which was released last year. “Heiðindómr ok mótgangr” has been described as their most grand, epic and monumental release to date so far. It is also the first Helheim album since 1999 to feature only Norwegian lyrics.

The album begins with the slow and brutalising guitar intro of “Viten Og Mot (Sindighet)”, which is mixed in with some French horn, making for a dramatic yet violent introductory track. The guitar riff that follows is lighter but more fast paced. The drums are also fast paced but are weak compared to the vocals. In some sections, the French horn overpowers the guitars which is disappointing. The vocals, however, are just as they are expected to be – Aggressive, bloodthirsty and grim. The use of a guitar solo does slightly improve the track, though not by much. The other major issue with this track is that it’s too long and repetitive for the most part. The use of clean vocals is surprising though it doesn’t do much for the track. It is not a great start for the album.

”Dualitet Og Ulver” comes next, beginning with an acoustic guitar section which is soon replaced by a violent, window-breaking guitar section accompanied by drums. The vocals are still aggressive and sounding more powerful than the previous track. The drum sections seem to have improved a fair bit as well, though they are still overpowered by the guitars and vocals in some sections. This track is a vast improvement from the previous one. “Viten Og Mot (Stolthet)” begins with a similar intro to “Viten Og Mot (Sindighet)”. The vocals are a mixture of grim, narrated styled vocals and raw, aggressive black metal screams which isn’t a great combination. The French horn makes its return on this track, bringing a doomsday atmosphere with it. Musically, this is a great track, though, vocally it leaves much to be desired.

”Maðr” begins with an intro similar to the riffs found on Helheim’s first album. The vocals sound barbaric, angry and fierce, contrasting well with the murderous and savage riffs. The drum sections sound more beastly and heavy as well. There is a slow, soft riff half way through the track which combines the use of clean vocals and grim screams, making for a perfect break between the onslaught of the guitars and drums. The next track is “Viten Og Mot (Årvåkenhet)”. Like the previous track, it begins with an old skool Helheim-styled riff topped off the demonic screaming. The drums are more vehemently played whilst the guitars have more bite. There is also a calm riff about halfway through, adding some diversity to the track. The grim and ghastly narration reappears on this track, followed by some shouting, which certainly adds a new sound to the album.

“Element” begins with a very soft and slightly melodic intro. There is a use of strained, clean vocals which ruins the track slightly. The track gradually becomes heavy, improving it vastly. However, it is one of the poorer tracks of the album. “Nauðr” follows after, beginning with a melodic yet destructive intro. The guitars and drums are fast paced, in a traditional black metal way, whilst the vocals are full of aggression and violence, as is to be expected. The rest of the track, however, is mediocre.

Nearing the end of the album, comes “Viten Og Mot (Bevissthet)”. Straight away, the heavy brutality bombards its way along with a beastly guitar section and terrifying vocals. The drums are very acute and on time, though lacking in power. There is a lighter section which takes away a lot from the track. Though when the heaviness returns to the track, it sounds so much better again. The dramatic sound of the French horn can be heard towards the end, making the track slightly more enjoyable. The final track of the album is “Helheim 8”, which begins with an acoustic intro. The French horn makes itself heard on this track as well, combined with folk-styled clean vocals. “Helheim 8” is certainly an interesting end to the album.

”Heiðindómr ok mótgangr” has its good points and its bad points and they seem to even out an awful lot. The album combined the best of Helheim’s roots with a newer sound. The combination of the two differing sounds has potential once Helheim work out how to combine the two without ruining the quality of the music too much. All in all, it is an above average album which has room for improvement.

3.5/5

Nico Davidson