Helheim are resurfacing after four years beneath the midnight light with their eighth album raunijaR, that also acts as the conclusion to the Aasgards Fall story arc from the 2010 EP of the same name, and like all legendary tales has its roots blessed in history. However given the penchant for poseurs in horns selling a new religion and other crap I’m reluctant to call this Viking metal. It’s heritage metal and it’s fucking rocking.
raunijaR is woven with a cinematic grandeur with each track more like a scene than a song. It’s with this structure Helheim set up for a theatrical embellishment from the notes of Snorri Sturluson, and so labelling it Viking metal would be like inventing a Twitter Hashtag called #NotAllNordmen for people interested in cultural history.
As epic as the tales themselves the music behind raunijaR lends itself to the fancy of folk music with an important contemporary twist with Norways’ very own black metal. Where the black metal elements are incorporated it’s in such a manner that it adds consternation to the overall weave in the songs. Showing a deep founded knowledge and excellent utilization of technique to accentuate the feeling inspired by the tales themselves within the humbled recital.
The music behind the tale is powerful and deliberate, adding depth that carries this album beyond more popular or sponsored artists. With the foundations of Helheim set firmly in influence by Norways’ early black metal scene the nostalgia runs strong and holds that fortitude with elegance.