Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Helfró - S/T

Last year I saw a panel at Inferno Music Conference entitled, "Iceland, The New Norway?" talking about the strength of the scene there. I know it sounds a little cliche - but its insane to me just how good the Icelandic scene has become over the last decade. Helfró are just another excellent exampe of this. A new signing to Season Of Mist their unique take on black metal is exciting, powerful and guaranteed to mesmerize the listener. Fairly accessible and wonderfully intense, their debut full length will soon be re-released by the French label.

It's hard not to be fascinated by the magic of what the band does here. They build on a lot of traditional black metal tropes but have searing guitar tone and vicious compositions. The fact that the songs are largely pretty tight, sticking under the six minute mark ensures that the band doesn't get lost in navel gazing as many of their peers. Instead, when the group dives into clean vocals, as they do on, 'Hin forboðna alsæla' it just seems like another amazing level to the sound, rather than an attempt to get bonus points on an art project. What it makes for is some really compelling black metal that will leave you in awe, excited for more.

The twin vocal assault is truly excellent, a unique additional feature that sets Helfró apart from the pack. Perhaps the best example of this is the penultimate track, 'Katrín' where the back and forth reminds us just how talented the band is. It's easy to lose yourself in what these Icelandic black metallers have crafted here. Their music is wonderfully oppressive and full of tight twists and turns. It's a leveling up of the scene with excellent execution paired with top tier songwriting, definitely something worth spending time with!

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