I spent most of my teenage musical life listening to Porcupine Tree, Blackfield and Anathema. I simply loved them, I think I bought every single PT release from their first one (unfortunately I never found a physical copy of Love, Death & Mussolini) up to their 2006 effort Fear of a Blank Planet. From there on, I simply started losing part of my interest towards them as I needed to move forward and taste something new. But, when I heard Helfir‘s debut album, Still Bleeding, it has been so melancholic to me. Seemed like my teenage years were back again.
If you read the introduction with just a bit of attention you’d have probably understood what kind of music plays this Italian one man band leaded by Luca Mazzotta. Everything’s so sad and introspective here, like a never-ending pain laying in the depths of our souls. Nonetheless the atmosphere is warm yet melancholic, sometimes it gets quite angry, some others it cools down. But the constant is the sorrow, never leaving this outstanding piece of dark art. This album is supposed to be played in the darkness of your room, and in the silence of the night it will do its best !
Browsing the 9 compositions contained in Still Bleeding I’d like to underline Alone, which amazingly recalls the likes of Blackfield. Black Flames with its sensual vocal lines, sounds similar to what Mr.Jonas Renske does in his Katatonia. Also My Blood is a track that needs to stand out. Probably my favorite one, it sums up all the “British” influences of Helfir and it mixes them up with an “Italian-melodic” approach. Very interesting, as well as greatly crafted is the alternation between “real” and programmed drums. I know, it is not an original idea, but here it works pretty fine while this solution too often screwed many albums up!
That being said, check out Helfir‘s debut to experience some melancholic and melodic numbers, stuffed with oppressive guitar solos and spiced up with a gentle breeze of cold-claustrophobic atmospheres.
2. My Blood
3. In The Circle
5. Dressed Of Pain
6. Black Flame
7. Portrait Of A Son
8. Where Are You Now?
9. Night And Deceit
Katatonia – Dead End Kings (Sweden, 2013)
Blackfield – Blackfield II (International, 2007)
Anathema – A Natural Disaster (UK, 2003)