Helevorn belong to that category of bands that take their time between albums, deciding to release new material only when they really have something to say. And there’s a lot to say in these times, especially for those who don’t accept to remain indifferent in front of human tragedies that most of us would prefer to sweep under the carpet, pretending not to do anything in order not to be forced to deal with their conscience. Helevorn, being Majorcan, like all islanders, have a special relationship with the Mare Nostrum, which in recent years has become the final resting place of thousands of human beings, forced to make risky and often fatal crossings to escape wars or simply poverty, and virtually pushed underwater by a policy aimed only at obtaining easy consent from people guilty, in turn, of a repulsive sloth. The fact that they have dedicated an entire album to the drama of migrants, at a time when those who raise the issue are almost seen as suspicious, is a credit to the sensitivity of a band that, on the other hand, even in the past has never shied away from taking well-defined positions in the social or political sphere. On a musical level, Helevorn‘s growth has been slow but constant, and if Compassion Forlorn had already sanctioned the entrance of the Iberian band among the leading names of the European gothic death doom scene, Aamamata strengthens this position with the added value, as mentioned, of important lyrical content. To fully understand the potential stature of the album, it is enough to enjoy the vision of a work that masterfully combines music, movies and graphics as the video of Blackened Waves, a moving song for intensity and dramatic evocativeness: Josep Brunet manages to tear the listener’s soul using only his clean voice, thanks to a depth of interpretation that leaves no doubt about the sincerity of his feelings, and the growl that emerges only in the very last part of the song is strictly functional to emphasize the pain, anger and helplessness of those who still want to have eyes to see. The value of the whole work then emerges with overbearance after listening, so that at each step a different song is manifested from time to time in all its splendor: so, if the single just mentioned appears difficult to surpass, then the same impression will be provided by the engaging rhythms and melodic openings of A Sail To Sanity and Forgotten Fields, by the Paradise Lost influenced Once Upon A War or the superb Aurora, whose pace in the final inevitably brings to the greatest Iberian metal band (in this case Lusitanian) ever. And again the poignant Goodbye Hope, with its enormous evocative potential between the softest passages and dramatic jumps, appears as an unsurpassable qualitative peak, but then the same can be said for the changing The Path To Puya, which from the darkest doom passes without any repercussions to the crystalline voice of Heike Langhans (Draconian), to get to the sorrowful and controlled end of the album entrusted to La Sibil-la, a song with lyrics entirely in Catalan. Nostrum Mare deserves a separate mention, a track that is in fact the lyrical manifesto of the album, with which Helevorn wanted to ideally involve most of the nations bordering the Mediterranean by entrusting parts of the lyrics to voices acting in different languages (it is a great satisfaction to discover that for the Italian one a dear friend like Pablo Ferrarese was chosen); “Et deixo un pont d’esperança i el far antic del nostre demà perquè servis el nord en el teu navegar / Et deixo l’aigua i la set, el somni encès i el record / Et deixo un pont de mar blava / El blau del nostre silenci d’on sempre neix la cançó”: whoever wishes to translate these verses will have a clear idea of the depth of the entire work, also on a strictly poetic level. The production entrusted to a champion such as Jens Bogren makes Aamamata unassailable also from the point of view of sound performance and the rest is done by the band, able to weave melodies that can be quickly assimilated but destined to be fixed forever in the memory, on which then stands out the vocal performance of a Josep Brunet who, today, in the special combined classification between clean vocals and growl, can be rightly considered one of the best singers in circulation. It wasn’t easy to make a further step forward from an already splendid album like Compassion Forlorn, but Helevorn have literally surpassed themselves by releasing a work that anyone who wants to try their hand at gothic doom will have to deal with from now on. We must not forget, finally, that for its characteristics Aamamata could be appreciated not only by the most hardened doomsters opening to Helevorn the possibility of reaching a wider audience, since, while inducing with constancy to the emotion, the sound almost never shows the most oppressive and depressive characteristics of the genre leaving space only for a melancholy that, like a lazy wave motion, breaks on our soul eroding it little by little.
May the waves remind us of our shame and misery, forever
2018 – BadMoodMan Music