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Vanhelga - Langtan

by Haylin Hunter at 26 June 2014, 12:17 PM

VANHELGA meaning “desecrate” in Swedish, certainly live up to their name. With “Längtan” being their third full length album, these guys have been around long enough to know exactly what they are doing. What at first listen seemed like a poorly recorded attempt from an attention seeking bunch of kids, I wasn’t very impressed, but then I realised something, this is J. Gabrielson, a deeply twisted individual that exceeds the boundaries of “normal” thinking. Ex-vocalist for the well renowned band LIFELOVER, Gabrielson has built up quite a reputation for his dark, tormented lyrics. Add to this the songwriting talents of Ottosson, and you have a recipe for some truly depressive, melancholic, yet somehow beautiful melodies.

The first track off “Längtan” starts out with some beautifully tainted acoustic guitar work, which is shortly complemented by the introduction of the psychotic vocal style of Gabrielson. His use of A LOT of delay/echo on his sorrowful vocals seems to drive deep into the depths of my cranium, almost inducing a sense of instantaneous dementia! This made for quite an interesting listen, as I could easily identify with the pain he was going through and the madness that was running free inside his mind, wreaking havoc in an uncontrollable frenzy.

Second up and one of the gems of this album is “Där evigheten inväntar mig”. Well structured, it makes good use of some variations of a rather catchy melody. The vocals are quite minimal, which gives us a chance to appreciate the full potential and feeling portrayed in the various instruments. This is a great track which has a lot of emotion, and seems takes the listener on an entrancing journey through the cold, dark passages of life.

Unfortunately there is not much variation in the individual tracks on this album, as they all pretty much follow this trend of beginning with some darkly picked chords on an acoustic guitar, backed by some highly distorted rhythm guitar, and some very distant drums, to which some almost indistinguishable vocals are barked out, and some occasional demented giggling is added.

To be honest, I can understand and appreciate the underlying meaning behind VANHELGA’s music, and why they have chosen to produce it in this manner, however as an album, it doesn’t seem to hold terribly well. It feels a bit too far drawn out, and the over use of the echo/delay on the vocals becomes stale quite quickly. Just as I begin to enjoy the dark acoustic melodies, they are destroyed by the vocals, but maybe that is exactly what they wanted to do, “desecrate”.

3 Star Rating

1. Svartsint ömhet
2. Där evigheten inväntar mig
3. Evig förändring
4. Med mina andetag
5. Joyless
6. Låt snön falla
7. Kärleksförklaring
8. Vansinnesvardag
9. Narkotisk uppgivenhet
10. Eternal Night
11. Förbarma
12. Exploderande känslostorm
J. Gabrielson – Vocals, Lyrics
J. Ottosson/aka 145188 - Guitars
J. Ejnarsson – Bass, Guitars, Vocals
D. Wadström - Guitars
D. Franzén - Drums
Record Label: Art Of Propaganda


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