HELHEIM is a Norwegian viking/black metal band from Bergen, formed in 1992.
As one of the founding pioneers of the Viking metal genre, HELHEIM has a career that spans two decades. From the raw and primitive furiosity of their first effort in 1995 the band has had a steady, but at times unpredictable development, making it one of the most interesting and innovative acts in the genre.
Helheim was founded by V’gandr (bass, vocals) and H’grimnir (guitar, vocals), who added drummer Hrymr. The band began performing in local Bergen festivals, and their debut demo “Helheim” was released and distributed only within Norway in 1993.
Soon after the release of their first demo, the band began working on new material.
The band’s second demo, “Nidr ok Nordr liggr Helvegr“, (“Netherwards and Northwards lies Helheim”) was released in 1994 and caught the attention of German label Solistitium (now Millennium Music). The band signed to the label and released their debut album, “Jormundgand“(named after the World Serpent, Jörmungandr) which was recorded in Grieghallen in 1995. A European tour followed in 1996.
After the tour, the band began recording their second album, “Av Norrøn Ætt” (“Of Norse Lineage”). With the release of the second album, the band’s contract to Solistitium Records was fulfilled, and the band remained without a label for two years.
Finally the label Ars Metalli got in touch with HELHEIM in 1999, wanting to sign them for a one-album contract. The band members were initially apprehensive about receiving adequate promotion, given the underground nature of the label. Despite that, they were eager to begin working on new material, so they decided to sign to Ars Metalli in the end. Shortly after they were joined by Lindheim on synthesizer and Thorbjørn on lead guitars.
The band recorded the MCD “Terrorveldet” (“The Realm of Terror”), and then another full-length album, “Blod & Ild” (“Blood & Fire”). Both albums received acclaim from the Norwegian Metal press, the international press and the metal scene.
HELHEIM attempted to publish another MCD, “Helsviti” (“Hell’s Punishment”) in 2001, but due to difficulties with Ars Metalli this release was postponed indefinitely.
Despite these troubles, the band returned to Grieghallen to begin working on their next album, “Yersinia Pestis“. Massacre Records took the responsibility of releasing and distributing the album, which was well received by both critics and fans. Due to a lack of promotion, however, the album didn’t reach many fans outside Norway. Massacre Records had initially agreed to publish the previously recorded MCD “Helsviti” as well, but this never happened.
Lindheim decided to leave the band in 2005.
The band released their fifth full-length album in 2006, “The Journeys and Experiences of Death“, a concept album focusing mainly on the Vikings’ beliefs concerning death. The first 2,000 copies of the album were published through local label Dark Essence Records as a double digipack, which included, finally, the release of the MCD “Helsviti“.
The last replacement of band members took place in 2008 when Thorbjørn left the band and Noralf stepped in.
After various Norwegian and European tours, the band performed acoustically for the children of the Klosteret kindergarten in Bergen, in April 2008. Shortly after “Kaoskult” was released, followed by “Asgards Fall” MCD in 2010.
The band´s 3 latest albums “Heiðindómr ok mótgangr” (2011), “raunijaR” (2015) and “landawarijaR” (2017) all incorporate the use of timpani and horns and bear the hallmarks of HELHEIM’s traditional Norse heritage, a heritage of which they are rightly proud and to which they have remained true.
With “landawarijaR” in particular, HELHEIM use their lyrics to express the need to include the Norse Heritage into modern life by emphasizing the importance, mystery and never-changing wonder of the Runes. The album also has a number of artists performing guest vocals including William Hut, Morten Egeland, Pehr Skjoldhammer (ALFAHANNE), Bjornar E Nilsen (VULTURE INDUSTRIES, BLACK HOLE GENERATOR) and Ottorpedo.
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