Genre: Black/Viking Metal
Country: Norway
Label: Dark Essence Records
Year: 2021

Helheim, one of the most underrated Viking bands out there, have no worries about record sales, numbers, money or fame. They are still 100% devoted to their art and goal. They are in the game since early 90’s while their debut that came in 1995 marked an era were the second wave of Bathory inspired Viking Metal began its journey to conquer the world. Helheim were always to my mind a Norwegian answer to Enslaved. Sometimes their lyrics deal with modern affairs, still epic, still majestic.

Helheim have the ability on building strong compositions that ooze a cold atmosphere, with frozen riffs, bulky production, yet not overproduced, based on dark narration with anxiety melodies and a mix of black screams and clean vocals that are enriched with an excellent orchestration. If we compare their new work with its predecessor, “Rignir” (2019) things are less experimental now. On the other hand despite the fact that “WoduridaR” sounds less progressive it is definitely more extreme, has better flow and epicness. “WoduridaR”, that is an old Norse word that translates to “The wild rider”, probably marks a return to the band’s roots as Helheim combined a perfect blend of the different paths they have taken throughout their career creating a sinister and unique atmosphere which unfolds its full fascination not only after repeated listening, but from the very first time as the songs grab you by the throat.

Besides Enslaved, Kampfar, or Borknagar or even Solstafir fans should feel very comfortable with this release. There’s a variety of sounds and some excellent compositions and tracks like the aggressive but melodic “Vilje av Stål” (Will of Steel), “Forrang for Fiender” (Precedence for the Enemies), the catchy title track and the dark songs “Tankesmed” (Thinking Man) and “Litet-vis maðr” (Little-Wise Man) that lead you to one of Helheim’s finest moments, the 12 minute epic “Det Kommer I Bølger” (It Comes in Waves); A totally epic song in the veins of Bathory with twists, turns and a sonic plot that makes you want to hear it again and again.

The bonus track is a cover version of the Richard Marx song “Hazard”, a song that reminds me of my early teens as its video was on MTV as it was a smash hit with a great video and excellent song to be honest. Helheim managed to bring it to their measures, something not so easy after all.

“WoduridaR” is a highly recommended release.