Helrunar have been part of the lively German black movement for over a decade, often a harbinger of bands that concentrate quality and originality in their releases. This latest work moves the sound coordinates towards historical themes, replacing the usual mythological topics and this, in the end, also affects the sound that becomes more obscure but equally evocative, although largely stripped of the vein “pagan” that covered the previous works, after all, already in the split album with Árstíðir Lìfsins, in the song Wein Für Polyphem, had emerged the beginnings of these changes, at least in terms of musical choices. Helrunar‘s work is anything but easy to assimilate, but not because of clever sound choices or who knows what kind of experimentations: the reality is that the gloomy mood, to which gives its contribution the almost constant use of the mother tongue, like a thick fog slowly fades away until, suddenly, it vanishes and the contours of objects and landscapes become clear again. Niederkunfft offers almost an hour of dense and deep music, that of black keeps mostly the rhythms, almost constantly set on midtempo, without dead spots even in its most difficult moments, as in the disturbing Grimmig Tod. If it’s exceptional Magdeburg Brennt, the most violent episode of the record in which Alsvaltr proves to be a very good guitarist, not less appear tracks like Totentanz and Die Kirch Ist Umbgekehret, while more enjoyable are the rhythms of the anglophonic Devils Devils Everywhere; the very long The Hiebner Prophecy opens to a poignant melody in its final part thus attenuating that apocalyptic smell that pervades the work in its almost totality. Skald Draugur is perfect in connoting the album with its deep tone, assisted by the excellent Alsvaltr to the rest of the instrumentation, Niederkunfft is yet another great test of a band that has never failed an appointment, with its black cultured and certainly recommended for those who are not afraid to run into a product to be handled with some care.

2015 – Lupus Lounge