Helengard is a side-project of Anton Belov, the mastermind behind Kauan. This band is actually one year older than Kauan, since it was formed in 2004. After its self-released debut EP “Skiringssal” in 2005 though, Helengard was put on ice. The following years Anton concentrated on Kauan, releasing 4 excellent albums of folk / doom(?) metal (with less metal elements in each new album) deeply influenced by Tenhi. Luckily enough, in 2010 Anton decided to resurrect Helengard and release its debut self-titled full length album with Firebox Records.
Helengard is a duet band with Alina “Witch_A” Roberts (Inferno, ex-Semargl) on female vocals, while Anton plays all instruments and sings the male parts. Their sound is very different from Kauan. There are many folk acoustic parts that remind them, but there are also slavic folk metal and epic black metal elements in their music. Their epic folk black metal reminds me a lot of Falkenbach’s (!) sound, but the band has a more atmospheric approach. Their 8 songs are very good and they experiment with many different styles that enrich their sound. The compositions are really excellent, since they find the way to merge all the different styles in a very personal and solid result. Alina’s vocals are beautiful and she is the perfect match for Anton’s great clean and screaming vocals. They also use some ethnic pipes performed by Mihail Korotkov, adding a very unique melancholic touch in the songs. All their nature-inspired lyrics are in Russian, but there are English translations in the booklet.
“Helengard” is a very good album, highly recommended for fans of folk black metal, especially the ones who prefer more melodic and less extreme sound. I don’t know if the band will continue and release anything else, but I really hope so, since this album is quite amazing. They have a unique ability to compose a very complex work, without being tiring at all. Everything seems to come out naturally and so simply… The band uses synths and many samples, while their production isn’t the most polished and powerful you will find out there. I strongly believe though, that it serves perfectly their music and helps them to keep this balance in their sound. You should check their beautiful music on their myspace and VK pages.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos