Thursday, 24 September 2020

Heilung "Futha" (2019)

Futha is more of an experience than a collection of formulated songs. It is what Heilung specialize in, esoteric, bleak and bewildering music that pierces a nomadic spirit with an atmosphere of fright and wonder. Primitive instruments, ritualistic chants and a tribal spirit forge inducing passageways of entrancing rhythms between heathen cries calling to the gods. These Norwegian have taken deep inspiration from a mythic take on their pagan heritage. Reading up on the use of bones, ashes and even antiques from temples as instruments, the music is as vivid as their dedication to it.

The best of the record comes with both the effeminate and male voices chiming, singing in native tongue over driving looped percussion with airy synths steaming into dense smothering atmospheres. With long and lengthy songs totaling seventy two minutes the repetitive nature sets in as a temporal, spiritual mood seeking the roots of a humanity that once looked very different. Futha takes its time, build ups are sluggish, some interlude ambiences steady forward with no sparkle or polish. It fits in so well to the vision but it is not always as captivating the initial charm on first listen.

The nostalgic purity is alluring but that undercurrent of mother natures cold cruelty is always present. In the final stages the record bites its teeth in with a grimness as guttural vocals are drawn in word by word on Elivagar. Its like the beginning of a cursed ritual, ghostly voicing uttering out every breath with a textural viscosity that brews in intensity. It leads into the last two numbers like a portal to the past, one is at the center of a psychedelia induced blood ritual of entranced primitive sacrifice. Futha offers up a remarkable experience in fractions but isn't always captivating from start to end. It is certainly worth your time if cultural music of lost tribes is in anyway enticing to you.

Rating: 7/10