Well, looks like this is going to be one of those albums that really sticks with me. Right off the bat, this one had me intrigued for a while now...and I'm really glad I gave it some of my time. Helheim is one of those landmark four-piece Norse/Viking black metal acts that have really learned to hone and take advantage of their craft and musical ability through the dozen or so albums as well as countless live shows that they performed in since their 1992 inception. And today's full-length is no different, so read on to find out why.
For context, Rignir stands as an eight song album that, through its approximate one hour duration, satisfyingly creates both a sense of emotional awe and ominous strength via traditional black metal and Viking subgenre means. The oldschool Norse lyricism, thought-provoking themes and melodic presence really ties everything together considering this is the band's tenth outing or so. The new album is made available through the Dark Essence Records label.
Rignir caps off with its self-titled track, which is a very melodic opening packed with clean singing and chanting that really fits (get used to it since you'll be hearing a lot of it here), tremolo picking guitars and a rather slow, ambient pacing. What Rignir somewhat lacks in the over-the-top heaviness of typical black metal it more than makes up for it in melody, atmosphere and cool instrumentalism. The tracks are lengthy, but since they're so eclectic and shifting at the same time, you'll rarely want to skip any of the material. I really have to give it to them for the vocal variety and switching between distorted guitars and acoustic sections, such as in 'Kaldr', which starts off heavy with standard black metal shrieks and tropes, then goes into a calming intermission and changes into a softer, melodic song once again before topping it all off with a guitar solo.
'Snjova' is another track I'd highly recommend for its overly melodic tone, catchy chorus lines and smooth riffs. However, if you're looking for more of the dark and heavy, then the album's second half may be more of your speed, with songs like 'Isud' & 'Stormvidri' having more of the melodically soft and at the same time heavy and distorted mix. Overall, though, if you're specifcally looking for a relentlessly heavy or brutal offering, then you'll be disappointed here. But, if you know what you're looking for and have an open mind, then this one should be pretty enjoyable. The outro track also showcases some of the best guitars and vocals around, too.
Helheim's latest effort Rignir is the epitome of a melodic, Viking metal-esque black metal album (sans galloping and whatnot). It's an energetically and emotionally packed powerhouse that perfects the ominous and melancholic (if slightly softer) side of the black metal genre in pretty much every way. So long story short, if you're not bothered by the clean singing/chanting vocals or slower pace, then seriously check this one out ASAP if you're into black metal at all. You'll be glad you did.
Fave Tracks: 'Kaldr', 'Snjova', 'Vetrarmegin'
For Fans Of: Bathory, Enslaved, Windir
**This release is available now here!**
Support your fave artists and musicians!
-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.