Resonance - Helfro - Strigoi - Felonie
Helfro – Talgrof 9/10
Hailing from Iceland the duo that is Helfro offer their second summoning with Talgrof, an album that celebrates their black death metal style that is utterly uncompromising and unforgiving in its assault.
The compositions are wild and at times manic, and they are able to traverse from the heavily primal black metal that is ‘’ Fangelsaður í tilvist að eilífu’’ to the pure technical death metal that is ‘’ Þögnin ytra, kyrrðin innra’’and its excellent coda seamlessly and gracefully with incredible doses of speed and riffing. The precision and incredible percussive skill within hurl the listener into the abyss that is marked by Ragnar’s screams, howls, and guttural utterances. ‘’ Jarteikn ‘’ is a slower offering, allowing the sombre introspections some more space and some of the great riff’s room to move and explore. This is also more prevalent on ‘’ Ildi óhreins anda’’ where the human condition is explored in more depth as the track continues its inevitable march towards inevitability and utter mayhem. ‘’ Traðkandi blómin í eigin hjartagarði’’ offers some experimentalism and a striking keyboard atmosphere and adds to the overall experience. The excellent ‘’Minning um morðingja’’ closes out an album that becomes more addictive and original with each listen, expertly crafted imminently memorable, the subtleties becoming more profound on each listen.
True to diversity and sonic mayhem, Helfro is an act that offers little respite. Passionate and genuinely exciting Talgrof is an inherently memorable and enthralling Death /black metal experience full of excellent musicianship. Diverse and demanding it is a ferocious release that is as absorbing as riveting. A literal tour de force of turmoil and chaos!
Strigoi – Bathed in a Black Sun 8/10
Featuring Greg Mackintosh Guitars, Vocals and Guido Zim Drums of Paradise Lost with Ben Ash from Satyricon (live), Strigoi is a Yorkshire England amalgamation of talent that further showcases the individual’s involved love of extreme metal. Their third release, Bathed in a Black Sun, showcases an unhealthy dose of crust and death metal.
A rawer primal and primitive beast than their more famous projects, the slow, moderate tempos allow the music to spread in a grinding, pure underground style that the title track and ‘’ A Spear of Perfect Grief’’ offer. They are intense, visceral-inspired classics that reek of vitriol and anger. It has a large element of groove as the brief ‘The Construct of Misery’ displays (with bursts of speed) and is not without the tasteful solo among its slower moments. ‘’Beautiful Stigmata’’ is pure old-school noise/crust that grinds, grooves, and relishes in its darkness and misanthropy.
An EP consists of tracks from the Viscera recordings that stand as a worthy companion, albeit far too brief. It is inherently tough with a muscular rhythm section that is more about the assault than technical prowess and is better for it. The end result is an overwhelming, all-encompassing assault on the senses and continues their growth and corruption in the underground.
Felonie – De Sève et de Sang 8/10
Steeped in the rich history and folklore of native Switzerland ‘’ de seve et de sang’’ is the debut release of Feloinie or, more importantly, that of Marc Bourban (Tyrmfar and Wizards of Wiznan) a unique solo creation steeped in atmospheric black metal within strong neo folk and synth flourishes.
Translated into Sap and blood from the building crescendo that is the opener’ Sedunum Invictus’’ this is black metal infused with large doses of atmosphere and melody created by the continuous evolution of the rhythms and riffing. The melody serves as the intro to ‘’ Ce que c’est que la mort’’ is quant and beautiful before it delves into the inevitable fury within. ‘’ La garde de ger’’ crosses the boundary between the traditional and the more modern, the main riff huge and chant-like, evocative of the power and heritage behind it. The vocals roar with power and inflection yet “Du Haut de l’Echafaud,” offers so much more. Its shades and tones of darkness and light are combined with some excellent guitar melodies, its length only strengthening the experience that becomes immersive and introspective.
de seve et de sang’’ is not your traditional atmospheric black metal record.‘’ Pax Romana – Pax Dissueta’’ is a stomping pure metal number that runs both hot and cold. There are elements of doom that also it make it an incredibly well-versed metal record. ‘’ “Tueuse d’Etoile” is the excellent closer and companion to ‘’Sedunum Invictus’’ with a fantastic, uplifting riff ‘full of grandeur and visually creating patterns.
Incredibly confident and assured,‘’ de seve et de sang’’ offers a complete listening experience rich in texture and ambition. An Album full of great ideas that at times borders on excellence, Felonie are destined for greater things.