Great black metal should take you places. It should have that right mix of riffs, screams and reverb to stir the imagination beyond the immediate thought of “gee this is really extreme.” Sometimes the most reliably imaginative black metal is the kind that’s stripped to its most basic elements. And it’s even better if the riffs steer toward the melodic and mournful end of the spectrum. Britain’s Helvellyn is one band that specializes in this masterful simplicity.
Frequent Friday readers may recognize the name from our feature on the Cumbrian black metal scene earlier this year. Helvellyn is one of many bands that Paul Gibson runs to keep himself permanently busy in the studio, launching volley after volley of cold grimness. This time around, his Helvellyn takes a rawer approach more akin to Nefarious Dusk, one of Paul’s other projects.
After listening to his new EP, Woods of the Forgotten, I caught up with Paul to get some more details on the release.
Tell us a little about the EP, what motivated you to bring this name back alongside your other projects?
Woods of the Forgotten is Helvellyn’s second release after six years of silence. All tracks were originally recorded in 2012 after the release of our debut demo Hordes of White Light. There is a mixture of guitar, bass and drums which were recorded this year. As some tracks were left unfinished. It’s been a very long progress in getting this EP complete due to other commitments going on in our personal lives with other bands, our families, work and so on. But it’s been totally worth it as we’re pleased with the out come of the EP.
How did you come to come to work with the label, Slime Citadel, and what else do you have planned for this year?
We’re due a limited cassette release with U.K label Slime Citadel, a label I have worked with before for the very first Thy Dying Light cassette release of The Last Twilight, so it’s good to be working with Slime Citadel again as they’re a quality label in my opinion and very supportive towards the bands they release. There will also be a CD release of Woods of the Forgotten with Polish label Perkun Records, who released my other band’s EP (Nefarious Dusk- Cold Shadows Over Transylvania) this year. So again, another label I’m pleased to be working with for the release of our EP.
If you like engaging melodic riffs that stay in your head, a steady yet sometimes unorthodox approach to drumming and in-your-face distorted vocals, you need to give Woods of the Forgotten a listen or 12. Check out “Fallen Empire” below: