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Helrunar - Baldr Ok Iss (CD)

Baldr Ok Iss
by Yiannis Doukas at 31 December 2007, 6:35 PM

Named by the self-titled book of Jan Fries, this horde from German is traveling through fogs upon a mountain where (above the icy ground) ancient runes are carved. In their second album via Lupus Lounge (a sub-label of Prophecy Productions, occupied more with Black metal) we are coming forward a bipolar antithesis. On the one the god Baldr representing wisdom, light which is also known from his tragic death by his brother Hodr. On the other the freezing emptiness of Iss which means ice.
This antithesis we can say is reflecting upon some songs of this album. Freezing melodies and pure northern Black Metal in songs like Iss or Schwarzer Frost and epic, mind traveling in songs like the first one or Baldr, Winter and the last one.HELRUNAR's music style can be described as a mix between old ENSLAVED, the first steps of the Norway's HELHEIM and KAMPFAR. They use for their lyrics a plethora of languages from their native German till Old Norse and Norway's one, making the whole sound more convincing surrounding the listener's fantasy into their icy realms.
The first song starts quietly with an acoustic guitar above a march performing by drums. In Schwarzer Frost the influences from MAYHEM are more than clear, with the intro riff coming from the Freezing Moon era, a song that can be viewed as a tribute to the corresponding bands of Norway. Baldr's intro probably will take you to BATHORY's Northland 'mood', while Iss is pure grimm-ish Black Metal.
Generally speaking, the album is good having nice compositions with good guitar riffs and fine vocals; especially in their clean parts they are like someone old druid telling you an ancient legendary story. Of course, we are not talking about a masterpiece, there are better albums for someone who may have interest in, like ENSLAVED's albums etc. But if you have these and you would like something more, this is a good choice. I think also it would be better for them to have a more violent and aggressive sound in their production that would transform their icy compositions making them more realistic. The plastic sound they are using is a common plague unfortunately in today's scene but if you dream Baldr Ok Iss with a more Grieghallen 'air' the result would be much better for sure. Except this, the truth is that this band is quite impressive.

3 Star Rating

Loka Logsaga
Schwarzer Frost
Hunta And Boga
Til Jardar
Baldrs Drauma
Skald Draugir - Vocals
Dionysos - Guitars
Alsvartr - Drums
Record Label: Lupus Lounge Records


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