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Helheim biography
HELHEIM was founded in 1992 by VANARGANDR (bass, vocals) and HRIMGRIMNIR (guitars, vocals); they were soon joined by HRYMR (dums). While other musicians came and went this threesome has remained the core of the band to this day. The music and subject matter of the band belong in the Norwegian Black/Viking Metal tradition and can - to a large extent - be compared to ENSLAVED, presenting similar ideals of individualism, mental indepence, strength and poise.

The name of the band as well as its members can be traced back to Norse mythology. 'Helheim' (also 'Helgard') means the home of Hel, a godess, and the daughter of Loke and the jotungiantess Angerboda. She was condemned by the gods to rule below and to welcome all those who died of either sickness or old age. This grim backgrounf provides the perfect setting for the band's musical career.

After 3 years of extensive touring in Norway, the band's second demo "Nidr ok Nordr liggr Helvegr" attracted the attention of the German label Solistitium records (now Millenium music) who signed the band for two albums. The first was the 1995 release "Jormundgand" (The Midgard Serpent), recorded in Grieghallen in 1995. A European tour followed in 1996. In 1997, the epic second album "Av Norrøn Ætt" (Of Norse Lineage) turned out to be very different from the debut.

In 1999 the underground label Ars Metalli signed a one album contract with the band. The musicians LINDHEIM (synth) and THORBJØRN (lead guitar) joined forces with the band, and in search of a different sound they chose producer Odd KRONHEIM and the S.J.E.F. studio to record the EP "Terrorveldet" (The realm of terror) and the full lenght "Blod & Ild" (Blood and Fire). Both harvested really good critics in the world press. In 2001 the EP "Helsviti" (Hels punishment) was recorded, this time Helheim returned to good old Pytten in Grieghallen but unfortunately the EP was not to be released on Ars Metalli.

The next move from Helheim was the 2003 full length "Yersinia Pestis", once again recorded and produced by Pytten in Grieghallen. Massacre records took the responsibility of releasing and promoting this album, but despite the fantastic critics it didn't sell as much as previous albums outside of Norway, much due to a failing promotion job done by Massacre. Neverthekess, the album proved to be the major breakthrough for Helheim in Norway.

In 2006 Helheim relesased "The Journeys and Experiences of Death". This time a concept album...
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HELHEIM discography

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HELHEIM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.58 | 3 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings
Av Norrøn Ætt
3.67 | 3 ratings
Blod & Ild
3.50 | 2 ratings
Yersinia Pestis
3.05 | 2 ratings
The Journeys and the Experiences of Death
4.91 | 3 ratings
3.92 | 5 ratings
Heiðindómr Ok Mótgangr

HELHEIM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HELHEIM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HELHEIM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HELHEIM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
Åsgårds Fall


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Heiðindómr Ok Mótgangr by HELHEIM album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.92 | 5 ratings

Heiðindómr Ok Mótgangr
Helheim Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Heiðindómr Ok Mótgangr' - Helheim (7/10)

Although never having achieved the same degree of popularity, Helheim may be best compared to Enslaved, not only in terms of their Viking ancestry and topical content, but also in regards to the way they have developed over the years. Originating as a fairly run-of-the- mill Viking black metal act, they have moved in an increasingly progressive direction with their sound. 'Heiðindómr Ok Mótgangr' represents another step in their career; a cleanly produced, diverse and impressive celebration of their culture.

Like Enslaved, Helheim focus their efforts on creating a vast, epic sound that attempts to capture the sound and custom of the Viking people. In this regard, Helheim are dedicated, and convey the pride of their ancestry powerfully. The album opens up with a combination of black metal canon and war horn orchestration, a pairing that pops up several times throughout the album. Arguably the greatest strength that 'Heiðindómr Ok Mótgangr' has going for it is that it takes the listener through a number of different moods and angles without sounding inconsistent or patchy. Based on much of my experience with this style, Viking bands tend to keep their songwriting narrow, composing a batch of incredibly similar pieces and drilling down one angle or mood of Viking culture until it's exhausted and begging for a coffee break. Most of the time, this 'angle' tends to revolve around the culture's penchant for warfare and alcohol consumption. I would not say that Helheim gives an all- encompassing glance into the culture- there's no reference here to the 793 AD equivalent to changing baby diapers- but the darker sound on the album is more successful at transporting a listener to what was decidedly an incredibly dark time in human history.

Helheim's production has developed with their musical style, and though black metal generally favours less bells and whistles in its production, 'Heiðindómr Ok Mótgangr' is remarkably refined. In terms of effectiveness, this is a bit of a double edged sword. The production does wonders for the more subtle arrangements such as the horn work and moments where Helheim go experimental with their sound, but the black metal feels robbed of some of its atmosphere. This does not draw away from the intensity of the music, however; the riffs are beautifully arranged and performed with vigour. Although the music on 'Heiðindómr Ok Mótgangr' rarely possesses the sort of composition quality that would thrust it into the realm of excellence, Helheim's varied approach to Viking metal stands out above many of their peers. There is anger, melancholy, darkness and light to soak up on 'Heiðindómr Ok Mótgangr', and the variety of styles only serves to give the work greater lasting value.

 Kaoskult by HELHEIM album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.91 | 3 ratings

Helheim Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars Helheim made quite a leap from 'The Journeys of Death' to 'Kaoskult', from technical Black Metal with some progressive traits to a fully progressive style of black metal that reminds a lot of Enslaved, but that also stays closer to its Viking Metal roots. The difference with their clumsy beginnings is simply phenomenal. Fans of clean vocals better run for cover, nothing but screams and growls for 45 intense minutes. Olé!

Right from the first bars of music you know you're in for a psychedelic metal trip, with a dense atmosphere, heavy grooves and chromatic riffing in the tradition of Voivod and Enslaved. That last band could well be the leading motive throughout this review, as also Helheim has a career that goes back to the 90s and that started with pure 'Viking' black metal before they starting experimenting with sound, atmosphere and riffing style. On 'Kaoskult', that evolution reach a peak with an extreme prog metal album that doesn't only sound very much like 'Isa' but that also satisfies me just as much. Next to the Enslaved influences in chord progressions and grooves, 'Kaoskult' puts more focus on the atmosphere, with arpeggios that almost sound like Agalloch at times (check 'Andevind').

Except for the dark chants on the last track of the regular edition, Helheim don't use any clean vocals on this album. The rasping black and growling death vocals even enforce the atmosphere and are simply the perfect choice for this album. Needless to say this album will be a total turn-off for listeners that only want to hear melodic vocals. It's clearly not melody but mood and expression that are the key here.

Helheim found a small but quite unique spot inbetween Enslaved and Agalloch on this album, combining the Agalloch atmospheres and Floydian arpeggios with the groove, psychedelica and chromatic riffing from Enslaved's 'Isa'. I'm not sure it brought them much success as I found this album for 2$ at Amazon. A pity and maybe it explains why the band returned to a less progressive and more accessible and direct style on their next album. An extreme masterpiece for this psych-adept.

 The Journeys and the Experiences of Death by HELHEIM album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.05 | 2 ratings

The Journeys and the Experiences of Death
Helheim Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by 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.

 Jormundgand by HELHEIM album cover Studio Album, 1995
1.58 | 3 ratings

Helheim Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

1 stars Listening to hens in distress is no fun. A hen can be distressed when facing a fox standing in the door of a poultry house, eyeing up the a la carte menu. Hens in a poultry farm should be adequate protected against predating foxes. Hens too have feelings. I just mentioning this as the opening lines of my review of the Norwegian band Helheim's debut album Jormundgang.

My concerns about hens relates to some of the vocals on this album. An album in the viking/black metal genre. These vocals is at best hilarious funny and I kind of suspect this album being a black metal parody. Though I was present in the scene when it was released and I know Helheim was serious about this album.

The very run-of-the-mill viking/black metal on this album is pretty boring. Enslaved is in the same genre, but they are many miles better than what Helheim delivers on this album. Both vocals types, both the hens in distress and the standard black metal vocals, are horrible. The songs are very standard too.

Besides of the contributions to the preservation of the world wide poultry stock, this album is pretty worthless. Hence my rating.

1 star

Thanks to bonnek for the artist addition.

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