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On disc: Helfahrt

Drifa - Mike Thompson - 8 stars


(Trollzorn/SMP - 2010)

Helfahrt have been around as a full band since 2005 and since then have released two full length albums. Drifa is their third offering. These Munich metalheads offer up some melancholy yet never dull or depressing melodic black metal with folk elements.
I'll be honest with you. When I put this album on after reading the band bio, I was expecting a lot of folk elements, such as different traditional instruments to be used. However, this is a very guitar-driven album with minimal uses of traditional instruments. The band do utilize both electric and acoustic guitars and the guitarists really step up to the plate as the driving force of this band and building on the solid bass provided by the talented drummer Andreas Mecker.
The music is very heavily influenced by black metal, but there is a heavy dose of the more modern Darkthrone / Satyricon black'n'roll style present. There are some great 'headbangable' riffs offered up throughout this album, one of my favorites being the opening track Wind, which to my ears is quite reminiscent of the song Nordland by Bathory.
Listeners will still appreciate the vehemence with which vocalist Max Marquardt roars into the mic and still makes sure the lyrics are intelligible. Even for those who don't speak German its very easy to roar and shout along to.
I'd definitely recommend this album to those who appreciate the more 'serious' sounding side of modern folk metal and of course to those who love melodic black metal.

8 stars

Mike Thompson


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