Helheim are admired as one of Norways oldest and most revered Viking Metal bands, but I would rather put the 7th album of the band into the Black Metal section. Not just because they only have Norwegian lyrics. Yes, there are those Folklore elements regarding instrumentation and atmosphere - but this brutality, those blast beat attacks, a certain frostiness (Madr, Dualitet og ulver) - Viking?? A track like Viten og mot (Arvakenhet) could be by Satyricon - evil, brutal, but still with such cool groove... there are epic-symphonic parts, and a somewhat "acoustic" song (Element, simply brilliant, with hypnotic vocals) - but still - I have a hard time with this Viking thing.
For me it´s rather something like modern progressive Black Metal - a bit like the style I usually get to hear from the Eastern European corner (CZ, PL, HU) - a weird, sinister, progressive and original variation of extreme music where surprises lurk in every song. And you´d like to listen to the CD over and over again, just to explore more of those evil details - and turn it a bit louder, until every neighbour hates you, just because the guitars, the horns, the vocals sound so cool and nasty...
Helheim even dare to add passionate clean vocals to the dominating growl/shout style, something to haunt you for a while (Viten og mot (Sindighet)). And well, the last track "Helheim 8" finally sounds a bit like "Viking" to me...
But no more of that - summa summarum, whatever this is, I am a fan now. Helheim rules!
PS: The first edition features also a bonus DVD with the concerts at With Full Force and Inferno Festival 2009.
1. Viten og mot (Sindighet)
2. Dualitet og ulver
3. Viten og mot (Stolthet)
5. Viten og mot (Arvakenhet)
8. Viten og mot (Bevissthet)
9. Helheim 8