The Swedish band Vanhelga is not new. They have more than 15 years of existence and five full lengths that say a lot about their perseverance. Classified into the Black Metal, its musical orientation has been moving more and more towards the melancholic lands, reaching in this “Fredagsmys” to its highest point in that sense. Katatonia, Shining, Silencer, Lifelover … no doubt Sweden produces acts of great recognition into Metal that takes depression to the extreme. Vanhelga enters this group of cultists of the also known as DSBM, with elements purely Black Metal, others more guided to Post Metal and even some elements of the depressive rock. And they do it in a very balanced way, with the experience that gives you the years in music. Vanhelga has sought to play with the emotions of the listener. Corrosive arpeggios contrasted with clean guitars can mix to get drunk you in a painful passivity, but this is crashed with dirty guitars and blast beats accompanied by a desperate voice that spits the world. This transit of emotions are those that take you from lethargy to taking actions, from passivity to tragedy.
Obviously, as the style demands, they have parts that densely crawl with all the characteristics of Black Doom, but the band’s creativity has incorporated even soft voices and whistles in this type of passages. “Varde mörker”, the third track of this album, is a song to be taken into account. Suddenly it erupts violently, deep inside Black Metal, with a dirty guitar that contrasts with another that goes with a clean and slow arpeggio. A somewhat “cosmic” experience is felt when one hears these kinds of passages. The song gradually changes its colour until it reaches sublime sadness, with depressing guitar arrangements that are quite melodic. The intermediate finishes returning to chaos and ends with an interesting (very relevant) tragic part that has quite original pauses. In the travel into the disc you can find even more melodic and clearly parts and songs guided to the depressive rock. Vanhelga has made this album a very varied experience, both within one same track and among all of them. It is a very interesting album for those who devour all kinds of painful styles, but not for puritans. On YouTube you can find the lyric video of one of its tracks: “RIP (Relationship In Pieces)”. It is very advisable to listen to him to get an idea of this album, because this track compiles Vanhelga’s sense quite well. (MarioR)