Helhesten have remained on the fringes of the UK noise/improv scene, releasing weird and wonderful pieces on various labels, including Psykick Dancehall, Rayon Records and Upset the Rhythm. Hailing from Glasgow/Cambridge (North/South UK ) Helhesten feel spread, stretched and taught. They unravel dirtied canvases of free jazz, with harrowing vocals of primal insanity. Hangman strings, Madman vocals and Callous clarinet attribute the main pallet of this eerie collective.
Graphic House begins with a droning ascension that falls into the same pit as Graveyards, Dream Aktion Unit and Chora (at their most elongated). The movement veers narrow corridors, spewing over the rim, like a drunk vomiting into his own shoes. The taught air could be cut with a knife, as unearthly drones and ramblings abide.
The second piece scales and pulsates as each musician finds a very particular point of reference, and delivers with private confidence. A trajectory of low-end rambles gives the base pallet for the manifestation to veer and grow atop the subtle plane. Then things suddenly fade to a quiet chime and groaning. The vocals erupt softly with Dredd Foole styled moans. A slightly eastern twang adds an elasticity that ricochets via walls of noise produced via the remaining players. This bounding bazaar gains momentum to a midpoint of highlights that give the piece body and ingenuity. Things take a slightly inevitable turn, yet the percussive, impish backdrop adds a hint of surprise, like a nude stranger in the woods.
Finally a tidal motion of sound beckons with siren cries that sing as horny ghouls might before a morbid fornication. There are blisteringly beautiful tones that haunt with arable noises over the frivolity of sensual spirits. A deep pagan, ritualistic sound reaches into ones experience, with hallucinogenic properties one should savour. Proceedings build to a stunning UK free jazz/ drone conclusion of sinister loveliness. File under fucked up. 8/10 -- Peter Taylor (24 June, 2009)