Helevorn - Forthcoming Displeasures review


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Band: Helevorn
Album: Forthcoming Displeasures
Release date: February 2010

01. From Our Glorious Days
02. Descent
03. Two Voices Surrounding
04. To Bleed Not To Suffer
05. Revelations
06. Hopeless Truth
07. Yellow
08. On Shores (Of A Dying Sea)

Helevorn's Forthcoming Displeasures has left me with a permanent expression of delicate horror, as if I am reaching for the last, receding glimpses of pure air left to breathe on our forgotten planet. There is a thick, personal focus here, and a balance of inner struggle and angering frustrations with a silent vision of the haunting sadness that has seemingly engulfed everyone else's eyes. Helevorn has offered an album for those who knowingly or unknowingly mourn for humanity and for each other, perhaps even wanting to change it all, but feel hope becoming ever more distant as they live trapped in passivity.

Full of somber doom metal blended with sullen, gothic metal atmospheres, Forthcoming Displeasures benefits from being something accessible on first listen. The overall sound on the album is dreary, like standing underneath a tree after it rains, yet the clouds are still lingering above. There is a cold immediacy in the way the instruments and vocals blend together, like a solitary walk through a familiar cemetery full of lush trees and ornate headstones. At once I am connected with the legacy of humanity and of all its celebrated stories, but also with individual suffering, the isolation, and the pain that must have permeated so many who once lived and now their descendants.

While the opener, "For Our Glorious Days" (and its video) pulled my mind to standstill, it was "Descent" that clearly caught my attention first. With its poetic lyrical touches, Josep Brunet's vocals are a passionate elegy to us all, seamlessly mixing a clean, conversational, melodic style with expansive, poignant growls. Rarely does music can make me feel nostalgic for our civilization and for myself, but with such deliberate guitar riffs from Samuel Morales and Sandro Vizcaino atop the controlled drumming of Xavi Gil, Josep's lyrics easily develop that desired emotional pull which has me pondering my and all our failures at once.

There are quite a few passages that are subtle at first, but become anticipated upon further listens. From the dramatic passage about halfway through "To Bleed Not To Suffer" that culminates in a painful cello melody to the deceptively pleasant keyboard intro of Enrique Sierra of "Two Voices Surrounding," Helevorn create a layered listening experience that marvelously surrounds us with the slow decay of our kind. The band manage to introduce a few uncharacteristic parts as well into tracks like "Hopeless Truth," with a distinct bass riff in between a push toward death/doom and more acute synth notes.

Forthcoming Displeasures at once isolates us with a desperate present and future for humanity, but does so with a deep appreciation for what we have and could have been. This is a gothic-infused doom that reaches out with wounded hands nearly frozen between the silence of lifeless rivers behind us and immobile clouds above. It is a sound that is heartfelt and apparent, yet comfortingly suffocating. Easily Helevorn's best work, and an ideal for a backdrop to watching our cities and reality fail as our minds and our planet become irrecoverably hushed.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Written on 31.10.2010 by Music and the written word are two of my passions in life, so I figured, why not combine the two?


Comments: 10   Visited by: 239 users
31.10.2010 - 15:29
Retired Staff
Well-written and inspiring review as always. And indeed a magnificent and meaningful album. Glad I discovered this.

An excellent tip right here!
Your favorite band sucks.
31.10.2010 - 18:50
Fragments is still better for me. More magickal. This one is somehow more static.
there is nothing left to die for...
31.10.2010 - 22:28
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
O disagree for Fragments was okay but this one is so much better so much more individuality to it.
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

31.10.2010 - 22:35
Dark Blood
The Avenger
Very nice review. I'm curious about the album, I liked what I've heard from their Myspace page.
It is humanity who must pay homage to the greatness of the Universe... not the Universe to the human narcissism.
01.11.2010 - 03:19
This is amazing music, What a surprise!
01.11.2010 - 15:25
Great review and thanks for introducing me to this band.
A mythology is a religion different enough from your own for it's absurdity to be obvious.
02.11.2010 - 11:52
Excellent review!
03.11.2010 - 13:19
Merchant of Doom
Great album, on par with Painted Black's.... good doomy stuff from Iberia...
04.11.2010 - 10:01
Yeah nice review, have to check this one out...
15.12.2010 - 17:59
Great Review! Five stars.

It's indeed an amazing album!
Beware the Shadows of Dusk

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