First, don’t confuse Swedes Vanhelga with Swedes Vanhelgd. The Linköping-based outfit of ‘ga’ owe their allegiance to black metal–a dark hole occupied by bands like Lifelover, Shining, and Totalselfhatred–rather than the brutal death metal of the ‘gd’ outfit. Now that we’ve distinguished between Vanhelga and Vanhelgd, know this: Vanhelga do things as real as possible. For the group’s 2016 full-length, Ode & Elegy, they took depression out of its conceptual/theoretical phase by working with a woman who was going through the various phases, taking her diary entries, and putting them to music and lyric. Theory into practice in other words.
Says Jacob Ottosson (aka 145188): “Vanhelga is about breaking boundaries in order to get more in touch with your true self. To transcend this filthy construction we are forced to exist in. A mockery to everyone’s pathetic attempt to hide from the definite darkness that surrounds us all.”
For new full-length, Fredagsmys, the quartet embark on yet another journey into the depths of reality, using the spectrum ends of insanity and euphoria to drive home the point that, as the Swedes have long trumpeted, “life is overrated.” The result is both savage yet beautiful, sarcastic yet earnest. The first track off Fredagsmys–the group’s first for veteran underground label Osmose Productions–is the spell-binding “Varde Mörker.” Translated as “Let There Be Darkness,” the track swings between a repetitious black blast and a beautiful melancholic lead (think: Rapture). The musical dichotomy is a direct reflection of Vanhelga’s lyrical concept.
Let Vanhelga’s forlorn insanity flow through you with “Varde Mörker.”