Germany's black metal fiends, Helrunar, find themselves back in the fold this year. Founded in 2001, the band gears up to release their seventh full-length album entitled Vanitas Vantitatvm. For the quintet—led by M.D. and S.K.—lucky number seven is a call to the past, an overt distillation of black metal. "The songs are more compact and mature, also mostly faster, and again, more black metal. Apart from that, there have been influences you might call nostalgic," the band comments.
Indeed, much of this is the case for the album. Packed with raw, blistering riffs and blast beats as well as subtle dashes of atmosphere, Helrunar flexes their blackened chops. The title track into "In Eis und Nacht" is a brilliant example of this. A brief instrumental with acoustic guitars give way to a string of tremolo picked riffs and echoing vocals.
Much of Vanitas Vanitatvm revolves around the idea of vanity—as the English translation of the album would suggest. "We address different forms of vanity and narcissism, which are rampant in our age, to reveal their psychological and societal origins and consequences. Both traits are contrasted by death and corruption to show their inanity," M.D. states. The album is sung and German and taps into a classic baroque style that siphons from greats like Homer and von Grimmelshausen.
When its all rolled into a package, Helrunar reminds listeners just how savvy they are at executing unrelenting black metal that bridges the gap between the second wave and modern experimentations. Stream Veritas Vanitatvm now and pick up a copy of the record from Prophecy Productions. Additionally, you can find a 9LP collection of Helrunar's first four records as well.