Helrunar Frostnacht

The time honoured artistic tradition of alluding to nature’s cruelty when articulating those seemingly fatal human emotions is practically expected upon hearing a new group of "heathen” musicians. Like the pagan ancestors they worship, Helrunar are attempting to find a sense of connection and humanity in the workings of nature, choosing to call this blackened opus Frostnacht and proclaiming the most sinister tracks to be an exploration of "personal abysses.” Darkened mid-tempo Emperor worship without the hooks describes most of these artistically frozen, contrived tremolo riffs and boring blast beats. They occasionally incorporate the triumph and fervour of Amon Amarth without the song writing skills to do it properly, dragging as endlessly as a Winnipeg winter with the hopelessness of a six-month absence of sunlight. This darkness is dimly lit when considering the genre norm for recording quality and the fact that this whole album is unusually crisp. Each element of the music comes across very clearly and the vocals are significantly as well as unfortunately above the mix. Ultimately, their efforts are futile and this record doesn’t connect with anything even remotely akin to the deadly and remorseless qualities of a good night’s frost. (20|20|20,)