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Review: Heljareyga - Heljareyga

Label: Tutl Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 48:01
Tracks: 5
Genre: Folk Metal


Review online: November 30, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.29/5 (65.71%) (7 Votes)

There was some hype for this, as the main instigator for this band is Heri Joensen of the much-loved Tyr, and yet eight months after release I have yet to see one real review of it. I think part of it is that this album is difficult to get a grip on, and also not really as awesome as people expected.

This is essentially Joensen indulging his prog jones, which anyone who has heard Ragnarok or Land can attest is a big one. The combination has made for some fine instrumentation and maddening songwriting on Tyr albums, and I thought maybe an album where the impulses of Viking and Prog metal were not fighting each other would produce something cool. Sadly, this is not really that different from Tyr, except for being less metallic and more self-indulgent.

You get five long songs here, and the music is basically Tyr with all the catchy parts removed. Freed from the tyranny of verse/chorus, Joensen has produced a very proggy album of shapeless compositions and unmemorable vocal melodies. The playing here is excellent, and Joensen's lead work has never been better, but the showy playing and dense songwriting cannot generate interest. The individual parts of this sound good, and you wait for the music to gel into genuinely gripping constructions, but that never happens. The vocal melodies are mushy and often irritating, and the music is so all over the place it cannot provide the foundation these songs need. This album is interesting, but when it's over you won't remember it and you won't really feel a need to hear it again.

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