Southern California-based pagan metal group Helsott has begun recording the second full-length album, which will be released this fall. It will serve as the follow-up to the band's M-Theory Audio debut, last year's acclaimed “The Healer” EP, which the group supported with a European tour alongside I Am Morbid and Necrophagia, and numerous regional performances alongside the likes of Dark Tranquillity, SepticFlesh and Evergrey.
Helsott's new album will feature two new members, as joining vocalist Eric Dow and drummer Cooper Dustman are guitarist Mark Dow, who appeared on the group's 2014 full-length debut “Woven,” and bassist Doc “The Healer” Beaulieu, a longtime fan of the band who helped to make “The Healer” EP a reality.
Says Dustman, “We are stoked to have Mark back in the band, as he is the original songwriter of many Helsott tunes and will continue helping us progress as writers. As for Doc, this is a cool story – he started as a crowd-funder in 2014, and we found out that he is a real doctor in Newberry, Michigan. We then wrote the song 'The Healer' for him as part of the crowdfunding perk, which ended up being the title track of our last EP. From there, he toured with us as crew and we became great friends. Now he is joining the band as our bass player. Don't knock crowdfunding to me!"
Vocalist Dow notes that the group's new album cranks up the volume on their pagan-influenced brand of melodic death. “I think it is going to be a very strong album, as it has all of the old Helsott elements that fans have come to expect, but we also tread a heavier and darker path on this new adventure,” he says. “This album is definitely going to represent Pagan Metal from around the world!"
More information on Helsott's new album will be revealed in the coming months. In other band news, the group recently signed with European management company/booking agency The Flaming Arts. "We are thrilled to be working with The Flaming Arts,” says Eric Dow. “They booked us for our first European tour, so it just feels natural to continue working together. I feel like this partnership will bring forth great things for the band.”
Adds TFA's Jon Knight, "We are pleased to announce pagan metallers Helsott to our roster today. We are planning a number of American tours and their second run in Europe at the moment, so stay tuned for more updates!"
Helsott will perform two-high profile shows in San Diego in the coming weeks – a gig alongside former Paganfest tour mates Tyr on May 21, and another with Insomnium on June 7. The group has also been confirmed as the headliner of the fourth-annual Maryland Folk Metal Fest on August 18. At these shows, the band will be joined by guitarist Rafael Ortega of M-Theory Audio label mates Sicocis.
Since forming eight years ago, Helsott – whose name means “fatal illness” in Old Norse – has paid homage to pagan cultures and mythologies while keeping true to American influences. The group's unique mix of folk metal, death metal, symphonic metal, thrash, classical and rock first caught the attention of audiences on a large scale during the 2013 Paganfest North American tour, where they performed with Ensiferum, Tyr and Trollfest. The group built further momentum the following year via their debut full-length, “Woven,” behind which they toured alongside Arkona and Heidevolk.
See the band live here:
5/21 San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick w/ Tyr, Orphaned Land
6/7 San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick w/ Insomnium, Oceans of Slumber
8/18 Baltimore, MD – Maryland Folk Metal Fest IV