Helevorn – Compassion Forlorn

Helevorn is one of the longest-lived bands in the Spanish doom scene, which, if not from a numerical point of view, proves to be absolutely up to the mark in terms of quality, thanks also to Evadne, In Loving Memory and the revived Autumnal. After their debut album Fragments, released about a decade ago, the following Forthcoming Displeasures consolidated the status of the Majorcan band, capable of expressing themselves at levels close to those of the leading exponents of the genre; this new work not only confirms the compositional maturity acquired by Helevorn, but even places them at the top of the gothic doom movement, by virtue of an almost perfect stylistic expression, which finds in Compassion Forlorn its sublimation, maintaining an amazing balance between the painful atmospheres of doom and the melodic openings of gothic. If the opening track The Inner Crumble follows in some ways the structure of the main track of the previous work, From Our Glorious Days, with the following Burden Me the sound becomes more rhythmic, but then cut out moments full of dark melancholy, aimed at breaking a musical texture only apparently of immediate fruition. Looters is driven by a piano that alternates with formidable guitar passages, which are replicated to the nth degree in Unified, the album’s masterpiece track thanks to its overflowing melancholic vein enhanced by the tear-jerking melodies played by the talented Samuel Morales. With Delusive Eyes, Helevorn try their hand at The Foreshadowing with the track that, if it were up to me, I would have chosen to be accompanied by a video instead of the aforementioned Burden Me. Indeed, the commercial potential of this track is boundless, with an unforgettable chorus and an outstanding vocal performance by Josep Brunet, a singer who today, in the hypothetical ranking of joint performance between growl and clean vocals, has few rivals in the industry. I Am The Blame is another episode of rather catchy gothic, nice even if slightly inferior in intensity to the rest of the tracklist, but the arrival of Reason Dies Last largely brings back on the stage the dramatic atmospheres that doom imposes, with the sorrowful guitar litany of Samuel to outline a song with which Helevorn take the listener for a ride in all possible shades of the genre, for a result once again exciting. Els Dies Tranquils keeps faith with its title, closing the album with its more intimate atmosphere, first with Josep’s recitative in Catalan, then with the heartfelt interpretation of Irish vocalist Lisa Cuthbert. Fifty minutes of great music that, after those three-four canonical listens, will become the indispensable soundtrack of the day for those who love Swallow The Sun, Saturnus and Paradise Lost: to associate Helevorn to these bands today is neither a blasphemy nor a risk and Compassion Forlorn is the proof.

2014 – BadMoodMan Music