|Review: Hellveto - Zmierzch|
Label: Dark Symphonies
Year released: 2006
Genre: Pagan Metal
Review online: September 25, 2006
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 4/5 (80%) (5 Votes)
I was expecting some rather brutal Black Metal when I first put this in the CD player, what with the booklet having "True Pagan Black Metal" written in large letters. Well, surprise surprise, this one sounds nothing like what I was expecting. Hailing from Poland, Hellveto play a symphonic brand of Pagan Metal, quite different from what we usually hear in the genre - or at the very least, what I have heard. Rather than a speedfest, Hellveto bank on atmosphere and do a very good job at it. From slow, melancholic and rather basic keyboards (and, admittedly sometimes a bit too repetitive), to more elaborate, orchestral sounding keyboard work, all the way up to blasting metal, Hellveto have brought together the best of Eastern European Pagan metal and, more importantly, they've actually pulled it off - unlike many bands who have failed miserably at mixing different sounds. While not necessarily being direct influences, one can hear a bit of the great atmosphere usually brought to us by Graveland and Nokturnal Mortum here and there, but without stealing anything from them either.
The vocals are low-pitch BM style vocals, which sound like they are simply an additional instrument rather than overshadowing them (or the opposite) - this is a bit difficult to explain in words. It's almost as if the vocals were coming out of the instruments themselves; everything sounds like it's merged together, all the while without sounding like a mess. Nothing sounds out of place, the album flows altogether through a succession of atmospheres that entrances the listener into feelings of thrill and fear, ultimately giving the impression of being on a medieval battlefield. All the lyrics are sung in Polish, which for a North American like myself adds even more to the atmosphere. An English translation in the booklet would be nice, if only so that we know exactly what's going on in there. :) Here's one that'll be spinning for a while here.
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