What we have here is a re-release of the first and only demo that HELRUNAR […]
By Yiannis Doukas
August 14, 2009
Helrunar - Gratr album cover

What we have here is a re-release of the first and only demo that HELRUNAR ever recorded, named Gratr, which had been out in CD around 2003 limited to 500 copies. For this German band we had the chance to write two years ago about their second album Baldr Ok Iss and in general lines here you can find here Norwegian based Black Metal with some pagan/ Viking extensions.
This demo has a dual peculiarity, since the four first songs do not have any relation with the others in musical quality terms. More specific, after the acoustic intro, that we meet in the Der Fahrtensucher, you will come across a very good song named Raune Mit Der Teefe that is not only one of their best but also contains all their sound characteristics. The DARKTHRONE influences are clear inside Ich Bin Die Leere, that is also good, while the enough catchy intro riff of Seelenwinter you may primary pull a wry face but is a more than a satisfactory composition. MAYHEM, a lot of ENSLAVED, some clean vocals and frenetic drumming together with an epic surrounding can give you the overall musical point of Gratr.
Unfortunately, after the self-titled things becomes trite, boring and breathless. The clean wannabe-epic vocals in Gratr's ending could have been much better inside a total apathetic song and although Morket Under Verden start might pull a trigger we don't have the presumed results. The instrumental Hornung is something that I cannot take seriously, Das Heilige Feuer is soulless and finally, the Viking Kvasirs Blut seems emotionally unfinished or far away from the standards that some Northern bands had showed us.
The first 3000 copies of this re-release will be digi-pack containing a bonus track but I guess it would be better if you want to have a musical taste of HELRUNAR to check Baldr Ok Iss that is more complete in its entity than this one.  

6 / 10

Had Potential

"Gratr" Track-listing:

Der Fahrtensucher
Raune Mit Der Tiefe
Ich Bin Die Leere
Morket Under Verden
Das Heilige Feuer
Kvasirs Blut

Helrunar Lineup:

Skald Draugir - Vocals
Dionysos - Guitars
Alsvartr - Drums

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