Helfró originally briefly saw the light of day in 2018, but is now getting a fresh lease of life via Season of Mist. This appears to be the ‘proper’ release of the album, and it’s been well worth the wait it seems. This new version seems to have an extra song included this time around that opens up the album’s 37 minutes in great blackened style.
Tight and precise, and bordering on technical in places, the songs don’t outstay their welcome, getting to the meat of the matter quickly and efficiently. They’re very well-written and seem to encapsulate the grim darkness of black metal, while also feeling dynamic and vibrant in a way that a lot of black metal lacks.
The music is fast and aggressive, but streaked with the sort of melodies that make for a highly engaging listen. The vicious songs have cold and lonesome atmospheres baked into them, and they seem powered by freezing winds and frosted darkness. There’s an intensity to these songs that’s addictive, but the strength of songwriting, creative flourishes, and occasional non-hyperspeed sections make for an album that just doesn’t become one-dimensional at all.
The band’s twin vocal assault is very effective; serrated screams and malignant growls tear through the music like terrifying predators on the hunt. Combined with the malevolence of the music, it’s hair-raising in places. Occasional clean singing appears, adding an occult feel when it does.
Dark and powerful, and imbued with an infernal energy that’s highly compelling, Helfró is a superlative piece of work.
Very highly recommended.