Helfró by Ragnar S
Helfró is an extreme black metal band from Iceland. Music written by Ragnar S, performed by Ragnar S and Símon Þ. The music style of Helfró is fast and relentless. Helfró is a feeling of acceptance and being resigned to death and dying. The word can be interpreted to situations of literal death or a more metaphorical death such as that of the spirit. This rare word stuck to me after my grandfather’s death over two decades ago.
The album is, in my mind, a reflection of a struggle to extinguish a part of one´s soul that has the mind imprisoned, as well as trying to reanimate lost parts of one´s being. After writing the lyrics, I started to look at the album as a journey towards becoming the master of oneself, shedding weakness and nurturing strength. Sometimes when confronted with the unmistakable need to let go of a part of yourself, you need to accept that it is there in the first place and that you are willing to let it go. I metaphorize the word Helfró to represent that.
During the album’s writing, I was listening to and inspired by Asmodeus, Limbonic Art, Mayhem, Thorns and more. I appreciate those bands for daring to reach for new expressions of black metal while still honouring the basics, which in my mind are the dark melodies that sometimes have to be searched for intensely before fully enjoying them. I suspect that many fans of black metal do also appreciate this search for resolution in the music. For this album, I offer that resolution in each of the songs, sometimes very plainly but hopefully sometimes at the expense of some effort on the listener’s part. I appreciate everyone who gives the songs a second listen, and the goal is for them to find a new detail each time.
Since my teens, I have loved black metal, and since I already was playing in a death metal band, I created Helfró to have an outlet for the side of me that appreciates the more macabre music. As I have grown older, I stopped connecting the music as deeply with philosophy and now try to express real ideas or feelings instead of complete fantasy. However, like with other forms of art, true masters of storytelling are rare, and I can only hope to hone the skill in the future.
For the debut album, the lyrical theme was 100% rooted in my own experience and observations. On the next album, I am pretty sure I will go in a slightly different direction and tell a story instead of an account.
I am not sure what is being referred to here for dark arts. As stated before, I have disassociated any religious or lifestyle meaning from the dark melodies of black metal. I simply don´t buy it anymore when bands present themselves as “truly satanic” or as followers of some kind of dark spiritual path.