Write down this name: Helden Rune.
Write down this artwork: black and white photograph with an empty merry-go-round in the rain. Write down these other photos: a strange trio died in an office, supposedly suicide; a car thrown by horses on deserted and autumnal streets; the infantry in an anonymous battle of the First World War.
Write down these musicians: Mercy (vocals, programming, bass synth), Franz Ekurn (piano, strings), Tony Tears (guitars), Claudio Dondo (keyboards, synths), Gio Fiaschi (violin)
Write down these influences: traditional European music, dark-wave, neofolk (Hekate, Sol Invictus), The Mission, Ultravox ("Vienna" era), Giorgio Moroder, Lacrimosa (Elodia).
From a progressive point of view we cannot compare this Mercy and Franz Ekurn´s project with their "normal" band Malombra. Helden Rune evokes images from decades 20, 30 y 40. Elegant, sad and decadent music... full with feelings and nostalgia, full with contained pain.
We could divide this CD in two parts. On one hand we have beautiful tracks with great classic intensity, such as the beautiful "La maison - Dieu" (3:40) -close to Lacrimosa style-, the pessimist and folkie "Loving and steril" (2:20), the mysterious "Arlequinade" (2:00), the sad "St.Martin´s summer garden party" (1:34), or the soundtrack like "Baroque boredom" (2:07), "Blood and soil" (1:32), or "The early night of frost" (3:18).
But among those classic style tracks, there are other ones that show us an "electric" band that creates and mixes atmospheres using the technology and a really original music close to that epic tecno-pop (and for me certainly progressive) played by bands like Ultravox or the first two Saviour Machine´s CDs, a kind of bombastic progressive gothic rock. Sadness gets dressed of technology but it doesn´t lose intensity in tracks such as "A love against the age" (6:57), the cold and beautiful "We were the young blades" (4:44), the dichotomy between the classical first part (1:10) and the industrial second part (5:56) of "The house of God return", or the experimentation of "Mirror mirror" (8:08), "Pestilence" (5:09), or the brilliant "Black abbey tune" (7:56).
The fact that Helden Rune mixes the classic song with the electric songs contributes a film sensation in the listener´s mind. So, the CD is not boring at all and it seems like a succession of images. The musicians replaces their lacks with a great effectiveness and originality, and the only negative point is the production in some moments, maybe a little bit dense.
Without being such an accessible music for progressive people as Lacrimosa´s "Elodia" or Saviour Machine´s "Legend III:I", Helden Rune is a name you must write down if you love strong emotions, tense music, darkness, and black and white. You can´t compare it to Devil Doll in musical terms but they will have similar conception. Listen to it and you will get surprised.