Helfro is one of the newest Icelandic black metal bands that have really impressed me a great deal. In fact, with new releases from this band and bands like Nyrst, we’re starting to really see Icelandic black metal come into its own.
This self-titled, 8 track release, is filled with the tons of tremolo picking, the double bass, and massive portions of traditional second-wave black metal elements. In this respect, Helfro leans heavily towards the more genuine sonics of the genre as opposed to the “black metal light” that we see coming out of North America’s gentrified urban neighborhoods.
Helfro is raw and extremely aggressive, but don’t take that as a meaning the musicianship is lacking – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Helfro manages to capture a raw sound but do so in a way that is really expertly crafted. It’s not lo-fi, which, to be honest is good, because it’s time to move past that lo-fi black metal sound. That’s been way overdone. I want to actually hear the music in my car and actually hear all the instruments.
My favorite tracks are “Þrátt fyrir brennandi vilja” and “Ávöxtur af rotnu tré.” The album opener, “Afeitrun” has a video which you can watch below.
This mysterious trio intrigues me a great deal. So much so that I, ordinarily I’d be off to Iceland to catch these guys live. Unfortunately that might be a while with this darn COVID-19 nonsense. In the meantime, I’ll just have to listen to this amazing record and lament.
Helfro releases April 24, 2020 via Season of Mist and can be ordered here.