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Helheim - The Journeys and the Experiences of Death CD (album) cover

THE JOURNEYS AND THE EXPERIENCES OF DEATH

Helheim

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.05 | 2 ratings

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Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars 'The Journeys of Death' is the 5th full-length album for Viking Black Metal band Helheim and the first to leave a lasting impression on me. There are steps in a more musical and progressive direction, the riffing has become more technical and melodic, and the songs integrate more dynamic play with tempos and time signatures. But the sound is still as harsh as ever and the aggression maintains as violent and untamed as you can expect from Black Metal.

The album starts very uncompromising, with three raw aggressive songs featuring a bludgeoning rhythm section and harsh vocals. It almost sounds like a Black Metal version of Ministry. This goes on till 'Second Death', where the tempo slows down and the composition allows for shifting time-signatures and chromatic riffing. The short 'Entering the Beast' nips these modest subtleties in the bud with another blast of aggression. After the horror-cinematic instrumental 'Helheim 5', the slow and long 'Oaken Dragons' shows the first hints of the progressive style they would further develop on the next album 'Kaoskult'. The sounds makes room for atmospheric guitar arpeggios and the lead guitars incorporate a Floydian bluesy feel. The composition is epic, goes through multiple themes and moods, with even some short hesitant clean vocals, but essentially it remains epic Viking Metal. With 'Thirteen To The Perished', the album ends in true epic Viking fashion.

To conclude, I wouldn't really recommend this album to Progressive Metal fans, but it's a good Black Metal album. It's well-produced but still raw and violent, drenched in that pitch-black nihilistic atmosphere that many people dislike but that defines the true essence of Metal for others.

Bonnek | 3/5 |

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