Donarhall – Helvegr

Rating: 4/5
Released: 2019
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Band Line-up:

Eugen Kohl (Gnev) – All instruments and mixing



1. Byrdh
2. Vinda
3. Hyrr
4. Heimr
5. Vagr
6. Sunna
7. Natt
8. Liflat





Donarhall is an atmospheric black metal project from Germany. ‘Helvegr’ is the 8th release by solo artist Eguen Kohl aka Gnev and is purely instrumental. No vocals or lyrics will be found in this album. The album title and song titles all make me think this is a Norwegian or Scandinavian project but you can see and hear this album takes heavy inspiration from Scandinavian black metal and has some of the more folk elements which have in the past years become quite popular. Rather than focusing on anti christian themes they focus on more pagan and folk themes. From looking at the discography of Donarhall I can see this musician definitely has followed a consistent theme in his music. This album sounds like it could definitely make a great sound track to some type of viking film or TV show.

The opening track ‘Byrdh’ opens with a slow tempo foreboding synth melody and heavy slow guitar riffs join in along with a very slow bass and snare beat. It fades away and the next song ‘Vinda’ again starts with a slow and dark synth part but it’s brief and a wall of blast beats kick in with fast paced guitar riffing. The riffing begins to get a little melodic though the synth parts shine and surprisingly are not lost and don’t dissapear into the guitar and drum parts. It is a great contrast between the synths, drums and guitars with a slow thick melody weaving along faster and more aggressive sounds. There are movements of more clean and melodic riffing between cacophonies of aggressive playing. Towards the end there’s some great tremelo riffing to be heard. ‘Hyrr’ starts with acoustic guitar melodies and the song is less aggressive and fast paced. Great atmospheric synths can be heard throughout the track and in breaks they come more into focus leading to the next big movement in the song.

Throughout the album there are some great heavy sounds mixed well with atmospheres. I wish there were vocals on this album. Instrumental albums are great too and this album’s songs do well to stand on their own without lyrics but I feel like some epic black metal vocals would kick things up another level. There are 8 songs on the album with most songs in the time range of 5-7 minutes. It is well put together and produced and sounds like a full band effort. So hats off to Gnev as he is a skilled and proficient musician and producer. The recording sounds flawless and well balanced. Each part is distinguishable and he successfully creates immersive atmosphere without vocals. I will give ‘Helvegr’ a 4 out of 5 rating. If you enjoy atmospheric black metal and do not mind the lack of vocals you may enjoy this so give it a look and support underground musicians.


Review by Cathrine Wendt