HELRUNAR / NACHTMAHR - Split CD (LUPUS LOUNGE - CD 2005)
And another split release, which features the German band called Nachtmahr, this time they’ve joined the forces with their countrymen, Helrunar… And man, just like in case of the split Sun of the Sleepless / Nachtmahr, also here I was eagerly waiting to purchase this CD, as Helrunar belongs to my favourite German black metal bands and their debut album “Frostnacht” is excellent. It did take me some time, before I managed to find this split though, as it was only pressed in 1000 limited copies and not many of them were available here in Poland, but man, now when having it, it just makes it even more special to me. And not only due to the music, but also due to the excellent packaging as the CD was released in a gatefold cover for 7” sized vinyl, which is very unusual, but looks excellent. Hmm, now when thinking about it, I probably would wish it to be the 7”EP actually, not CD, but who cares. The layout is pretty cool and I must say that all Lupus Lounge releases I have in my collection look just awesome, including this split CD.
Both bands play similar type of black metal, both are strongly influenced by the early Ulver and I mean their demos and the cult “Bergtatt” album, plus there are many similarities to the likes of early Satyricon, Darkthrone, Hades, even Dimmu Borgir’s “For All Tid” (which is fantastic album, in my opinion). I’m really amazed how well both bands managed to capture the essence of the Norwegian black metal cult of the mid 90’s. Both tracks (and there’s just one anthem from each band) have been strongly influenced I think by those type of bands and deliver similar style of riffing, which means majestic, epic, monumental, heathen, but also equally aggressive and harsh, with few more melodic parts and ranging from slow parts to this characteristic monotonous fast drumming of early black metal we all worship. Plus there are some acoustic parts in both songs, which only make the atmosphere even darker and more stunning, and both hordes even dared to incorporate some clean singing, which reminds me Hades (Almighty) a lot. Wow, fantastic really! I mean, if you’re a fan of the early Norwegian scene and those bands that I’ve mentioned above, trust me, Helrunar and Nachtmahr play very much in similar vein and the quality of their music isn’t far behind their Norwegian influences. I like both tracks from this split, maybe this time Nachtmahr won the game for better track, but man... this is just incredible piece of music and I would wish to get some more, but that’s just an EP, so 11 minutes go by very quickly. I press the “repeat” button then and enjoy it more and more, recommending this EP to every self respecting black metal maniac.
Final rate: 100/100