Helrunar - _Frostnacht_
(Lupus Lounge, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
_Frostnacht_ starts off as a pretty straightforward black metal album
(with the exception of being sung in German) -- of the well produced
kind, but free of keyboard sweeteners. Mid to fast paced, with snarled
vocals and a melodic but still old-school vibe, Helrunar use their
ability to write good serpentine riffs during the quicker passages to
offset the slower and doomier ones. The band also employ acoustic
guitar passages quite well, which helps enhance atmosphere and
variety, as _Frostnacht_ gradually reveals an interesting
introspective, seemingly nature-oriented side. Expect no attempts at
revolutionary songwriting here, as Helrunar seek not to redefine the
genre or be more brutal than thou; rather, they provide solid,
competent black metal in their own terms. This means musicianship and
production values are kept relatively high, but without resorting to
any embellishments that might harm the black metal atmosphere.
Norwegian-sung black metal sounds better to me than this German-sung
variety, but the vocals are nevertheless well performed. The band
produces consistent songs throughout, with memorable material that
doesn't sound like they felt the need to pander to trends. Overall,
_Frostnacht_ is one of those albums that flow quite well and are very
pleasant to listen to if you like the genre, but remain just short of
the brilliance required to really impress the listener on a greater
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