Helfir – The Human Defeat

More or less exactly two years after the release of Still Bleeding, we find Luca Mazzotta and his solo project Helfir with a new long-distance work entitled The Human Defeat. Speaking of that album, with the need to frame in some way the sound proposed by the musician from Lecce, I was exposed without too many risks in comparing the work to that of famous names such as Antimatter, Anathema and Katatonia, while The Human Defeat changes the cards on the table. Since the opener Time In Our Minds it’s possible to perceive, in fact, a propensity to gothic and doom and, in general, a relatively more extreme approach to the matter; all this gives to the work also a greater variety and, consequently, pushes Helfir out of the orbit of the reference bands to assume a much more personal form without losing, however, an ounce of the emotional impact highlighted on the previous work. The same use of growl, sparingly but appropriately used, adds a further element of discontinuity that in the opening track pleasantly accentuates the dichotomy between the metal soul and the more properly dark alternative one, while the guitar weaves beautiful and painful melodies, capturing the listener’s attention immediately. With Light the scenery changes and the sound coordinates are pushed overseas, equaling for evocative potential and sound cleaning as done almost simultaneously by the wonderful 1476. The waves retreat and Tide lets tangible traces of previous Helfir resurface, an entity capable of masterfully modeling liquid sounds but full of emotional tension, letting the intimism of Protect Me and Chant D’Automne politely take over.
Electronic pulses inaugurate a Mechanical God that oscillates between alternative and industrial, exhibiting at times riffs of an unsuspected nastiness: a song of great impact, but that may even appear out of context, especially if followed by the delicate guitar strokes of Climax 2.0. In Golden Tongue we find again that restless sound that had marked the beautiful opening track, while in The Last Sun returns to dominate the poetic imprimatur of the Antimatter school, although, as mentioned above, at these junctures the possible similarities are less pronounced than in the past. The instrumental version of Chant D’Automne ideally seals a work of great maturity and above all proactive: Luca Mazzotta could have continued to follow, doing it very well, the tracks of Moss and company, but with this work decides to take some distance, expanding in an effective and shareable way the compositional spectrum with excellent results. If Still Bleeding was already a more than convincing album, The Human Defeat goes even further, placing the name Helfir at the top quality of the Italian scene.

2017 – My Kingdom Music