Vanhelga – Fredagsmys (Black Metalcholy)


Yeah this Swedish outfit has has got me crying. The sound of it turns the most pleasant disposition into a soiled, soggy mess. Plus I’m pretty depressed I haven’t heard much of Vanhelga before this moment. The name seems as though it’s somewhere in the mists of my memories, but it’s but a whisper too deep in that fog to discern. This is much like the cover by Rodrigo Beuno up there. It’s a scratched, broken memory, pushing outward and screaming but too amorphous to break through. It seems to moan and scream and I want to hear it, but I can’t. That’s a pretty poor analogy for transition, note for next review and move on. Vanhelga has been around for almost twenty years now, and it’s about time more people cut themselves to their mournful cries.


So I did some looking and the album title Fredagsmys is a cultural tradition in Sweden that translates to “cozy Friday.” Not too unlike the old TGIF tradition in America where you snuggle up with family and watch some TV. So, big “like I get it dude” moment, the irony of the title should be clear from the cover to the track titles, which you can easily translate. “Psychotic Self-Awareness,” for example, makes it obvious life is not as peaceful as Fridays would have us think. We all know it, sometimes Fridays suck, and Vanhelga is here to verify all the negative in life. From what I’ve read, though this is the first I’m hearing of them, they’re known for their melancholic, negativist approach to black metal, and you probably already are keen to how much I love using the word ‘melancholy.’ It’s like a mantra around here. Fredagsmys reveals more than the simple tagging of ‘black metal’ suggests, however, and that melancholy part is critical. Vanhelga show an incredible depth and variety, yet without dissociating themselves from the genre through their gloom. Some of the riffs are surprisingly memorable for this kind of style, and their ability to switch to acoustic, incorporate unique twists, and then allow it to settle into the tears and sputum of classic black metal is commendable. This is one of those albums I have few words for, because it’s really up to the listener to understand. Be prepared to be downtrodden, let us say, and lead yourself on the dark path where suffering makes you complete, just like the rest of this site.

Vanhelga Official Facebook

Written by Stanley, Devourer of Souls

Vanhelga – Fredagsmys
Osmose Productions
4.3 / 5