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Review: Helheim - Kaoskult

Label: Dark Essence Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 40:51
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: July 8, 2008
Reviewed by: Pagan Shadow
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (3 Votes)

There's something I don't get about Helheim. These guys are known as one of Norway's oldest Viking metal band, but I don't really see that description fitting. On their previous album, The Journeys and the Experiences of Death, there was a bit of a Viking edge in their sound. I have a DVD of Ragnarok 4 on which they wear Viking outfits and all, but this music does not sound like Viking metal to me. True that their songs are written in their native tongue, so perhaps I could see why if I would understand Norwegian. I don't say this as any sort of criticism, just a misunderstanding on my end.

I really can't say anything bad about Helheim, because these guys are simply great! Excellent musicians and crafty composers, besides applying a personal touch on the Black Metal arts that I would call "modern." On Kaoskult, former band member Lindheim is back handling the keyboards and ambiances. Bjornar Nilsen (Vulture Industries) and Marius Lynghjem (Corvine) helped the band with guest vocal appearances. There are quite a bit of variety and atmosphere on this release. Keyboards, mostly discrete and somewhat orchestral at times, which can also turn into something more spacey and psychedelic in the experimental parts. Rasps, growls, chants and whispers are the vocal range heard on this disc, while a strong and powerful rhythmic section is the heart pulsating the music of Helheim. As always, the guitar work remains excellent, either in its crunchy riffs, or the more delicate arpeggios. I see Kaoskult more as a progressive Black Metal album personally. The music is intricate and melodic, and yes, I must confess, it does contain an epic feel. Closing track, "Svart Seid", is where one can feel a bit of a Viking edge.

Many superb songs are to be heard on this album, such as "Det Norrone Alter", "Helheim 6" and "Andevind".

More about Helheim...
Review: Asgards Fall (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Asgards Fall (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
Review: Henholdsvis (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Niðr ok Norðr liggr Helvegr (reviewed by Mjölnir)
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