Album Review By Adam McCann
Tormo Records/Doom Metal
Hela have had a busy decade; from forming in 2013, the Spanish doom band released two albums alongside two split EPs and a stream of endless shows. Not choosing to rest upon their laurels, the band returned late last year with their third album ‘Vegvísir’.
With ‘Vegvísir’, there has once again been a significant change at the vocal helm; the bands previous vocalist Mireia Porto who replaced Isabel Sierras has left Hela being replaced this time by UK vocalist, Ayla Mae Coghlan. This gives a large change to the sound of Hela with ‘Vegvísir’ having a much more international feel. Coghlan accentuates every word, leaving the listening hanging on her raw emotions and alongside some excellent ethereal, eerie sounds which sweep through blends of moody and melancholic timbres giving this album all the appeal of Anathema, Katatonia and The Gathering, making ‘Vegvísir’ the best work that Hela have delivered.
There is something insidious about this album, ‘Vegvísir’ is not initially gripping and can feel like a like background music; but within a few listens, this album becomes quite enrapturing, there is always something new to hear amongst the soundscapes. Fans of doom and indeed female fronted doom would do well to check out this album, it will certainly not disappoint.
Rating : 70/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann