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Now, that's something.. - 94%

Daedagor, November 10th, 2002

I got this CD due to a recommendation by a friend and to be honest, I was quite sceptical at first. Norvegian Viking Metal with Norvegian lyrics by a completely unknown band? Not usually what I listen to..

So, I gave it a listen and from the first time Blod Og Ild (Blood And Fire) was hammering through my speakers, I was interested. Evig (Eternal) following, I began really liking it and after Helheim (Part II) and Jernskogen (Iron Forest) I knew: This is one killer release!

But let me describe the music a little, although you will have to hear it yourselves in order to really get the feeling for it.
It's brutal in good Black Metal tradition, although Helheim do use keyboards, which are used to create an epic atmosphere in such songs as Evig (My favourite song on the disc). Every track, though, is very different from the preceding one which some might like, others might not. I usually don't like CDs where all songs are too different from each other so that the CD doesn't really seem to fit together, but it seems to me that this one is just perfect for that matter. Much variation but still it all adds up to one unity which is the whole disc.
Evig for instance, as said, is an epic song where one can easily imagine warriors singing it while drinking mead in order to prepare for battle. You know, it is all about that Norse stuff. Jernskogen is a straight-in-your-face brutal song that incorporates some technical elements in the beginning, Blod Og Ild is a good opener to get you used to the whole thing. Helheim (Part II) shows a completely different side as it is an instrumental that sounds very electronic, perfectly demonstrating the cold, empty and dark atmosphere that is supposed to be the Norse underworld (Helheim, obviously). In a way, every single song stands out in a way but I have to say, those above plus Odins Moy are my favourites.
Another mentionable thing are the vocals. You will either love them or hate them, I guess. It is hard to describe, but as they are very varied, rough and extremely unclean (Most vocals in that genre are, of course, extreme but they still do have some regularity in them which can become boring at times if the music doesn't compensate; not so here) they perfectly add up to that special atmosphere and I personally think they stand out compared to most bands in this genre, because they don't leave all the variation to the music.
The production is alright, I had actually thought it would be worse since Helheim probably do not have a very big budget. What I particularly like is that one does not have a hard time hearing out the bass at any time.
The last thing I would like to mention is the video clip for Jernskogen to be found both on the CD and the official website for free download. It is an amateur video, but hell, it is awesome. Get it!

So, I think that wraps it all up. I can only recommend to anyone to have this CD in their collection. If you like it, pleas buy it because Helheim really do need the support!

"Dø ung, dø hard
Til Valhall vi drar"
(Die young, die hard
To Valhalla we travel)