1. Rignir
2. Kaldr
3. Hagl
4. Snjóva
5. Ísuð
6. Vindarblástr
7. Stormviðri
8. Vetrarmegin

V'gandr - Bass, Vocals
Hrymr - Drums
H'grimnir - Vocals, Guitars (rhythm)
Reichborn - Guitars (lead)

Jormundgand (1995)
Av norrøn ætt (1997)
Terrorveldet (EP 1999)
Blod & ild (2000)
Yersinia Pestis (2003)
The Journeys and the Experiences of Death (2006)
Kaoskult (2008)
Åsgards fall (EP 2010)
Heiðindómr ok mótgangr (2011)
raunijaR (2015)
landawarijaR (2017)

Ole André Farstad - Lap steel guitar (track 5)

Recorded at the Conclave & Earshot Studios, Bergen, Norway
Produced and mixed by Bjørnar Nilsen and Helheim
Mastered by Herbrand Larsen
Artwork by H'grimnir

Released 2019-04-26
Reviewed 2019-07-18


dark essence records

Norwegians and they are looking backwards to traditional things. Their music is inspired by alliterative verse like in the old Eddas, prose that is about a thousand years old. So they look back at old traditional things, an interesting but not really that original thing to do. The language is old Norse as you can see from letters and names, the title means Rain and the album theme is inspired by the weather the quartet have in their home town Bergen so at least it is not a boring Viking saga even though the band is categorised as Viking metal. That categorisation is easy to do as the lettering in their logo is reminiscent of other bands falling into the same category. But the artwork on Rignir is really poor, which can be considered a bit strange considering that they have been around for over 20 years, they should know the benefit of a good-looking artwork by now.

Rignir is in fact their tenth album and I noticed at a site that all of their albums had been reviewed with strong ratings, none worse than 5/7 if you translate to our scale. If that were to be true Rignir would be Helheim’s worst album, but internet reviewers tend to be overly positive and the scale was 1-100 that also tends to create higher ratings as people are generally quite bad a understanding that kind of scale for reviews. But before being to bogged down by this, lets have a look at this album that features lots of weather, like rain, snow, hail, ice, storms and more.

The style is Viking metal or atmospheric black metal, I think a band like Ulver is a decent comparison but also the other similar bands as well as bands like Seigmen, Einherjer, Enslaved and more. The vocals are often massing and not so much black metal grunts, quite diverse vocals and moreso than the predecessors according to the press material. They also use orchestral percussions like the predecessors, the production is good and the songs quite varied giving a strong atmosphere of changing weather during a year which is a welcome change to boring hero sagas that often plague not only this genre. It is quite epic and diverse. The press material claims that it is heavy, progressive, atmospheric and unique; I can agree with the first and third claim while progressive is hard to apply to a band looking back to the beginning of times almost and it isn’t that unique – when writing about something unique you don’t come to think of almost ten similar bands during your first time listening.

Quite a good album, exciting, quite powerful, good sound, and some other details makes it an album you want to listen through at least once. It is really a solid effort where it is hard to find too big flaws and those who are fans of Helheim will probably like it as it sounds like an effort from a band that knows what it is doing and sound like they stay true to a format. Fans of the Viking- or melodic black metal should also have a look at this album as it will most likely appeal to them as well. It may not shine like the melting glacier ice in the sunshine but it is a solid album that could be worth giving a spin.





Label: Dark Essence Records
Three similar bands: Seigmen/Ulver/Vyre

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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