HELREIDH - FRAGMENTA (Pure Prog Records)


                               (Review by Officer Nice)

I have always been a fan of Progressive metal but nevertheless I hardly find bands that are able to keep me focussed. It’s rather seldom that I choose a Progressive Metal release out of my collection because it’s so damn difficult to mix breathtaking melodies with technical played arrangements.

From out of Italy I received  a band with a strange name, Helreidh. They released an album in 1997 (Memoires) and 1999 (Fingerprints of the Gods). Or in other words this is some kind of comeback album after thirteen years! After listening to this album I am considering checking them out because “Fragmenta” isn’t at all a bad release, that’s even an understatement. Helreidh succeeds in mixing melody, lots of skills with a good dose of Power. They are constantly searching to deliver good songs and thankfully they’re not searching all the time to show ultra technical played parts. At the opposite they are looking to deliver good played Progressive metal in which there is place for heavy but also calm parts. Guitar player Yorik is a true talent and doesn’t only throw lots of superb riffs in our direction, lots of leads are played with that emotional touch that makes Metal so irresistible.

There are no doubts in my mind that Dream Theater is one of the main sources of inspiration but I’m quite sure that one of those members listens to Savatage a lot. Both bands are perfect examples for what Helreidh is doing and therefore I can’t say they’re unique, but what I can declare is that this band offers first class Progressive Metal.

It’s about time that Italian bands crosses the boundaries to visit our countries. I am looking forward to see bands like Eldritch and this Helreidh. A singer like we can hear on this record, a man that listens to the name of Max Bastati, will surely blow lots of listeners away. On songs like “Orfeo’s Lament” this formation shows what they’re capable of, performing a semi-ballad like this one is very exceptional! Also songs like “In Hoc Signo Vinces”, the eye catching "Act Of Faith" and “Exile” pleased me a lot, no weak points discovered…

Believe me, this is as a matter of fact a fantastic release and it’s a pity my year list is already closed because it could have been in it. A highlight in the genre, a band that every fan of Progressive Metal should purchase. Even fans of other genres should listen to it, that makes a score more than 90 is well deserved. If the band becomes darker I suppose even more is possible but I hope it won't take so many years this time.  Check  http://myspace.com/helreidh.

My Points: 91 / 100