With the numerous bands we have to review, it is pretty hard to remember the actual work of a specific act sometimes. The music or style of a band has to stand out to leave a lasting impression. Helrunar's Baldr Ok Iss is such an album. There was even a track I asked my former guitar teacher to tab for me in the past; one of the very few from a metal band actually. Three years later, the German horde is back with a double dealer.
This time around, Helrunar has composed a darker, harsher and somewhat more in your face black/pagan metal album. Mind you, these musicians being talented and well able to write mature compositions, it remains a pleasant album to listen to. My main complaint remains in the fact of resorting a bit too much on the fast/furious mode for my own taste, but this is a question of personal taste maybe. Fortunately, the essence of this band is still present and differentiates them from the other acts. Besides, the boys had the good idea to include great moderate parts on just about every song. Great not only because of the pace itself, but also because it offers some tasty and crushing guitar work, to my selfish pleasure. I mean, this is where the riffing gets real juicy and those distorted arpeggios are always a pleasantly melodious element to those ears of mine. Helrunar always used their native tongue, quite appropriately and the influence of German philosopher is again felt in the spoken moments. One will have to wait until track #6, "Tiefer als der Tag" to hear the exquisite tonalities of acoustic/classical guitar. At least those parts are lasting more than a few seconds, but they are nowhere else to be found. That specific tracks started out as a fast/furious ones, before calming down with the organic sounds, only end up as a bone crushing tune. This one as well as the crushing instrumental number, "Praeludium Eclipsis" and "Unter dem Gletscher" figure on my list of favorite.
All in all, far from being a bad album, although not as tasty as their 2007 release. The pagan metal fans will undoubtedly find Sol of their liking though.
3- Unter dem Gletscher
5- Praeludium Eclipsis
6- Tiefer als der Tag
7- Nur Fragmente…
8- Ende 1.3