Baldr Ok Íss

Helrunar - Baldr Ok Íss ©2007 Lupus Lounge
1. Dickichtgott
2. Loka Lögsaga
3. Schwarzer Frost
4. Baldr
5. Íss
6. Winter
7. Glámr
8. Hunta And Boga
9. Til Jardar
10. Baldrs Drauma

I suppose with the demise of Dissection, there are more than a few distraught fans looking for some new band to fill that particular void. And I suppose that if you're really that hard up for a replacement, you could check out Germany's Helrunar. This outfit retains some of the atmosphere and winterized thrash Dissection was famous for way back in the day. However, the caveat for Helrunar is that honestly, they don't really offer anything particularly new to the style. Baldr Ok Íss is certainly a musicially competent record with production that actually enhances the musical vision (that is often a rarity in metal, with so many bands overcompensating by creating a wall of sound, but losing all the dynamics). Helrunar has a tendency to throw in quite a few acoustic interludes, as well as some moderately hokey spoken passages. Think Bal-Sagoth without the goofball Red Sonja overblown fantasty movie themes. The band also is able to change up tempos of their songs, switching from blast-beat fests to mid-paced affairs.

This CD, upon further listens, does grow on the listener a bit. It lacks the musical impetus to project itself beyond the second tier level in the metal world, but it might be of mild interest to those who just never can get enough of this sort of thing. More discriminating listeners may ultimately give it a pass and even the less discriminating listeners may eventually discover this CD will gather dust after enough time passes.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/2007

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