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Oaken Dragons - 95%

HangmanOfPrague, June 30th, 2006

Helheim is one of those bands to watch out for, the potential and sound to go HUGE. 2006 hasn't been the most promising year for music releases in Norway (So we have a few like Gorgoroth's new album, but not the point.) I never listened to or even heard of Helheim before this release. But fuck, with an opening song like Veneration for the Dead your first impression is Heavy as Fuck Viking/Black. Although I personally don't listen to this side of brutality within Black Metal this is definently a solid ground breaking release. The chugging quitars (which are quite impressive and unique) and in rhythm drumming is a definent up to this album but what actually makes this album fascinating is the elements Helheim have used on it, combining the Genres of Viking and Black Metal flawlessly. The vocals are nothing special but it provides to the atmosphere Helheim sets giving you an actual visualization of Viking Metal war. The production sounds as if it was made actually for Helheim. As you get further into the album you can hear what im talking about. Oaken Dragons is surely enough the highlight of this album. I don't know what that is in the beginning of the song but the sudden calm and decrease of speed and tremelo of riffs makes your spine shiver. Not too repetitive but in some way unique and entertaining, not so messy as other songs and very well put together. The lyrics to what I can understand soo far are very powerful and sets a story line along with the guitars to a battle field and their Viking ancestors long dead. I await to see what Helheim has next after this masterpiece, overall this is an incredible album and definently worth buying and listen to again and again. Perhaps even make you want to sharpen your sword and go out to war.