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Artist: Helrunar
Title: Sól I - Der Dorn Im Nebel & Sól II - Zweige der Erinnerung
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: 7th January 2011
Label: Prophecy Productions

Album Review

HELRUNAR unleashed their furore back in 2001 with their now legendary, self produced album ‘Grátr’. Shortly after ‘Grátr’ was released, German stronghold Prophecy Productions gave them a deal for their black metal sub-label Lupus Lounge. Since then, HELRUNAR have released a split EP and two acclaimed albums, ‘Frostnacht’ and ‘Baldr Ok Íss’. Skald Draugir, one half of HELRUNAR, has been exploring the old, heathen ideas of the north (or at least what remains of it) in his lyrics, yet always from a modern-day and personal angle. No pathetic lyrics asking for the listeners to drink a beer for Odin here - far from it. After all, HELRUNAR is pagan black metal in the old sense, i.e. no keyboard-drenched, melody-soaked shite sung by overweight metal heads too pissed to stand straight whilst fans hug and cuddle in what is supposed to be a mosh pit.

Whatever the case, one thing is for certain - ‘Sól’ needs time to evolve and grow. It is not an album which can be played in the background and listened to for mere enjoyment. After all, it is a concept album and deserves to be treated accordingly - namely by listening to it and taking one's time with it, instead of rushing out a review. Thematically, ‘Sól I’ lyrically discusses the struggles of the individual in attaining identity and his self, a constant struggle and development. ‘Sól II’ concerns the second field of conflict, namely the individual and society. Thus, two albums. Both of which are unmistakably HELRUNAR, as the band has managed to create a sound which is their's alone. There is nothing to be said about the production values, as both albums where recorded in Prophecy's home base Studio E. Clear with space for all instruments and vocals, thumping drums, driving and cold guitars.

Yet good production doesn't replace killer riffs, hook lines, melodies, vocals and the rest of the performance. Fortunately, HELRUNAR have more than enough of that to deliver. Listening to outstanding tracks such as ‘Unter dem Gletscher’, ‘Nebelspinne’, ‘Aschevolk’, ‘Moorgänger’, ‘Rattenkönig’ and the final ‘Sól’ are clear demonstrations why this band belongs to the top of the pack not only in Germany, but also international scene. It has to be mentioned that it is rather difficult to pick favourite songs, as all are excellent, yet the longer songs seem to have a lot going for them, combining raging storms with mid-tempo heaviness and acoustic interludes giving the avid listener time to regain his breath and a moment of peace before the pace picks up again.

With ‘Sól’, HELRUNAR clearly demonstrate they are on top of their game, making the albums essential listening for any fan of the genre. There is not a word to be said against HELRUNAR's latest release, yet hundreds of words fail to describe what needs to be heard.


Sól I - Der Dorn Im Nebel
01. Gefrierpunkt
02. Kollapsar
03. Unter dem Gletscher
04. Nebelspinne
05. Praeludium Eclipsis
06. Tiefer als der Tag
07. Nur Fragmente...
08. Ende 1.3

Sól II - Zweige der Erinnerung
01. Europa nach dem Eis
02. Aschevolk
03. Die Mühle
05. Moorgänger
06. Lichtmess
07. Sól


Alsvartr - Drums
Skald Draugir - Vocals


Cover Picture



Music: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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