Helheim – Heidindomr Ok Motgangr CD review

Nordic black metal band Helheim have a knack for writing albums with wired album titles, and new album Heidindomr Ok Motgangr is not letting this trend down. With nine tracks that just total under an hour of pure satanic noise, the mighty Helheim manage to hook the listener with a mix of tinny guitar lines, harsh vocals and crawling bass drones, that sound like living hell is jumping out of your speakers at you. Prepare for a ride to Valhalla and back, as Helheim take you through the best bits of Folk/Black and Viking metal to end up with this hybrid of a metal masterpiece.

Helheim has to be the best Black metal release of this year, being miles better than extremists Burzum, Varg and Blut Aus Nord. Helheim stick to their guns and have came out with a ferocious onslaught of memorable songs, that not only go for a charging down tune, distorted guitar riffs, but also showing some melody and structure from classical guitar intro’s which set the scene and hold you in suspense until the extra brutal bit kicks in, in tracks like ‘Dualitet Og Ulver’, ‘Element’ and ‘Helheim VIII’ which when played through a set of speakers at full blast sends a ghostly shiver down your spine.

Aside from the melodic bits, all die hard extreme metal fans are going to want to hear some crunchy, buzzing tracks, which Heidindomr Ok Motgangr has many of. It’s true that if it sounds like a fly buzzing in a garage then it’s black metal, and Helheim don’t ruin the atmosphere of their music by going for a good production, instead they rattle through tracks such as ‘Madr’ and ‘Naudr’ with full force, trying to ignite the listener in a frenzy of head banging, at such a aggressive selection of songs.

Heidindomr Ok Motgangr is a very good entry point for people who are not into the more just noise orientated version of this extreme genre, and you can see from every track on this album that the guys in Helheim are all great musicians. It’s not just a case of: Smash a symbol here, do a pig squeal there. With Heidindomr Ok Motgangr you have the sense that the song is actually going places and there is an actual structure to the song, which the listener can follow easily, meaning that every song offers a different experience and theme for the listener’s ears to indulge.

Helheim have certainly got it spot on with Heidindomr Ok Motgangr, and have written a superb album, which has stuck to the traditional style of Black Metal, but made it so it is more accessible to mellower metal heads without dampening the nature of some of these still pretty brutal songs! [8]

About Del Preston

So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweet shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business really. But sure enough, I got the M&Ms and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.