Helevorn - Forthcoming Displeasures

Helevorn is an doom metal band from Spain. Helevorn formed in 1999 and released a demo in 2000 titled "Prelude". Starting out as a typical doom band in the gothic direction, they have become a lot more darker and heavier over the years. I first became aware of the band in 2005 when they released a CD called "Fragments", this was a giant step in a more doomier direction but keeping the melancholic atmosphere they had in the beginning of their career as a band. By 2007, they were making a name for themselves around Spain and even supported Swallow the Sun on their Spanish and Portugal tours. Moving forward to 2009 and they entered the studio to record this album called "Forthcoming Displeasures", the end result is a very dark, atmospheric album. The production was handled by Jens Bogren and Johan Ornborg who have worked with Katatonia, Paradise Lost and Opeth.

"From our Glorious Days" is the opening track and already the dark atmospheric mood is set, it blends some kick ass riffs with strong melodies and although its a little predictable, the album is off to a good start. Like most of these kind of doom outfits, they use clean to growling vocals but piano parts are added to the clean vocal parts in the opening track to great effect. "Descent" is up next and its even more gloomy than the opener, there is spoken word passages and crunching doom riffs that are clean compared to a lot of other bands in the genre but Helevorn are all about dark atmospheric music and they achieve that here. "Two Voices Surrounding" begins with a piano intro before the melancholic riffs come in till there is a drastic change with the death growls in the middle of the track. There is some great, almost catchy melodies within all the darkness however and the track seems to gain strength the longer it goes on, to sum up this is one of the highlights of the disc. "To Bleed not to Suffer" takes the album in a slightly heavier direction even though it has the added violin sections, this just adds to the dark intensity of the track. The musicianship is top-notch throughout and this is one of the songs on "Forthcoming Displeasures" where the combination of gothic, melancholic doom and epic driving metal is perfected. "Revelations" sees a change in pace with a more mid-tempo metal attack and stunning guitar harmonics. "Hopeless Truth" brings everything down again to some slow, melodic doom. Again it features more dark guitar passages and spooky piano work, it builds up in tension and atmosphere to a fitting climax.

"Yellow" continues the album in a similar vein with more crunchy guitar riffing and a mournful atmosphere, there is a lot of bands that this can compared to but I am sick of doing that so lets just say, its a typical European doom approach but at the same time, the way its played is pure perfection. The album's finale is "On Shores (of a Dying Sea)", it starts off with some musical melancholic beauty before it is washed away with eerie doom riffing and a depressing atmosphere. Aggressive death growls blend with clean, mournful vocals that build the track up into a hell of a highly charged slab of emotional doom metal. Its has a kind of depressing beauty about it that is hard to put into words. When its all over, you are left with a feeling you have heard it all before but you are no less impressed with "Forthcoming Displeasures". What makes it so impressive is the eerie atmosphere combined with incredible musicianship and the superb production. The album is not perfect but it comes real close, Helevorn are a underrated band but this is a album that deserves to push them to the next level amongst doom metal fans. The way this band is improving, the next album could be a all out masterpiece but for now, "Forthcoming Displeasures" demands your attention.

1. From Our Glorious Days
2. Descent
3. Two Voices Surrounding
4. To Bleed Not To Suffer
5. Revelations
6. Hopeless Truth
7. Yellow
8. On Shores (Of A Dying Sea)

Bad Mood Man Music
Reviewer: Ed
Apr 14, 2010

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