Helrunar / Árstíðir Lífsins ‎– Fragments - A Mythological Excavation - Split Digipak -CD


It's a big responsibility to review such splits, since both of the bands are fabulous so far in the pagan/folk black metal scene, and this is a privilege to have an art of paganism like what Helrunar bring, or a complex of historical and ideological linkage such as in Árstíðir Lífsins’s music. Not forgetting that everything comes from Lupus Lounge or any other roots that belong to Prophecy Productions should be carved on every wall.

There are a lot of influences met together between both of the Icelandic and the Germanic horde here. As we noticed in Helrunar’s previous releases, their heavy touches are consuming the biggest parts of their songs, with the presence of acoustic passages, choirs, and melancholic/dark solos which it gave a great impact to their black metal touch, and this is how their assault in this split came. Briefly they created the best it can be done to prove that Helrunar is capable of speaking the language of the profound oceans of pagan black metal. Yet the same credit goes for Árstíðir Lífsins’s for how impressive this work of 20 minutes is, although they are more premised on ambience, strings, and male speeches in a marvelous way, thus, it's perhaps the only difference between both of the bands in this release.

However, Helrunar's introduction here originates from their previous albums, not a lot of new effort but nothing to whine about. "Wein für Polyphem" starts with ambiance, operatic male chants by Skald Draugir and female choirs performed by Folkearth’s Hildr Valkyrie, with an acoustic guitar riffs, then the song switches from fast blasts to slow crashing cymbals with heavy riffs, tremolos and solos. The grim of the vocals is cold as ice, it’s appropriate and fitting every part in this track. The tremolo riffs are prevalent in most of the song with or without the drums; hereafter the drums are perfectly done.

The finality was “Vindsvalarmál” that started with a heart twisting violin, viola, cello, and acoustic riffs, with a speech that dwells in the soul. That was actually nothing new regarding Árstíðir Lífsins, but this is a flawless work and another success to add for the band’s carrier. Anyhow, this is lighter than the previous track, more improvisations prevailing by the screams of the vocals, the chants, and the classical instruments by the guests in this song. Every single instrument played here in such an amazing trend and a wonderful performance. I myself am waiting for the next to come, after the shock I had from listening to this epic piece.

If you’re searching for quality, then everything in “Fragments - A Mythological Excavation” is flawless and astonishing. If you’re deep in the thoughts, searching for mourn, gloom, and melancholy then this split is dark enough to defeat you and conquer your thoughts. If you’re into performance, harshness, and bleak solos then check this out, it has everything you need. This is a thirty five minutes of a dark spectacle of solitary that fulfilled my needs and the need for every fan that’s searching for a serious work with deep musical thoughts and ideas, this is recommended for all, especially those who are against the pagan of folk black metal scenes, I recall, this is a predominant that shall prove you wrong. Order this masterpiece and send your kind regards to Lupus Lounge for this great privilege.

Digipak, limited to 1000 copies.