Reviewed: November 2021
Released: 29/10/2021, Dark Essence Records
Reviewer: Neil Langton
Norwegian Viking Metal legends Helheim return with their 11th album “WoduridaR”. Recorded by Vulture Industries Bjørnar E. Nilsen at Conclave & Earshot Studios in Bergen the album marks a return to the bands roots with the harshness, aggression and extreme sounds of their earlier albums blended with the atmospherics, melodies and clean vocals of their last album “Rignir” .
“WoduridaR” sums up Helheim’s almost 30 year career with this combination of styles creating something special.. “WoduridaR”is an old Norse word that translates to “The wild rider” and the album certainly takes you on an almost cinematic journey. Each song is its own conceptual story, telling its own tale as it sweeps you along.
The album starts calmly enough on “Vilje av stål” but is soon interrupted by brutality which then itself switches to a melodic interlude. The aggression continues on “Forrang for fiender”, of which the band had this to say: “The lyrics for Forrang for fiender (Precedence for enemy) are more sinister and spat out in such a way that perfectly illustrates the feelings of misanthropy towards the human race. The musical approach is straight forward Helheim with a touch of rock and roll attitude all garnished with grim verses and monumental choruses.”
“WoduridaR” the title track smashes into your ear drums at the same time as being extremely catchy and “Åndsfilosofen” continues this pulverizing theme. Songs like “Tankesmed” and “Litil vis madr” take you through the darker realms of Helheim’s storytelling. The 12 minute epic “Det kommer i bølger” is full of twists and turns that mean the song flies by leaving you actually wanting more.
The bonus track on both the vinyl and digital versions is a cover version of the Richard Marx song “Hazard” a perfect fit for the band with its subject matter of a man shunned by his community who is the main suspect in the disappearance of a woman.
I loved this album it takes you on the above mentioned wild ride captivating and enthralling you along the way. Harsh yet gentle, brutal yet melodic, crushing yet uplifting. I can’t recommend it enough even if Helheim are a band you’re not familiar with. As the band say themselves, “Helheim never falters, Helheim never surrenders.”