The Southern California-based pagan death metal group Helsott has announced the initial dates of their second European tour of 2019, which will see the band join Skyforger, Finsterforst, Enisum and Khors on the “Pagan Warriors Across Europe” tour in October and November. The trek includes a stop at the Dark Troll Festival’s 10-year anniversary celebration on October 26 in Eisleben, Germany. The initial batch of confirmed shows appears below, with additional concerts to be announced in the near future.
“We were honored and quite surprised to be invited to play the 10-year/’best of’ Dark Troll Festival show in October, considering we have never played the fest before,” says Helsott vocalist Eric Dow. “Perhaps the future is being looked at from the past? This tour is going to kick so much ass! It’s going to be a treat to watch and take part in. It’s going to be dark, brutal, melodic, in-your-face pagan fun. We are stoked on the whole lineup but it will be a bit more special for us to share the stage with pagan metal godfathers Skyforger, who have been flying the flag since the mid ’90s!”
In addition, Helsott will headline this weekend’s West Coast final of the ongoing Wacken Metal Battle competition, the winner of which will represent America at Germany’s annual Wacken Open Air festival’s international battle-of-the-bands this summer. The show takes place at Hollywood’s legendary Viper Room on May 11.
Dow, who has co-promoted several preliminary California Wacken Metal Battle shows in recent weeks, says he’s looking forward to the event. “I have been extremely proud to bring these Wacken Metal Battles to California and they have been very impressive to watch,” he says. “We love The Viper Room, so when my L.A. partner, Andrew Bansal at Metal Assault, suggested we guest headline the California final, it was a no-brainer to say yes.”
Helsott recently completed a successful West Coast tour with Ashes Of Ares, their second U.S. tour in support of their latest album “Slaves And Gods.” Last fall, the group celebrated the album’s release with a number of shows alongside Korpiklaani and Arkona. The vocalists of the latter band, Masha Scream and Lazar, were among a number of guest musicians who appeared on the album, joining the likes of Dr. Leif Kjonnsfleis (TrollfesT), Trollmannen (TrollfesT), Damna (Elvenking), Lethien (Elvenking), Dom Crey (Equilibrium, Nothgard) and Kevin Storm.
Earlier this year, Helsott crossed the pond to perform at Germany’s Wacken Winter Nights, where they shared the stage with a number of prominent pagan and folk metal acts, and the 11th annual Cernunnos Pagan Festival, which took place in suburban Paris. The shows marked the group’s first European dates since a tour with I Am Morbid and Necrophagia in 2017.
“Slaves And Gods” – which includes a rollicking cover of Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down A Dream” – was mixed and mastered by J-F Dagenais (Kataklysm, Misery Index, Despised Icon) and features cover art by Felipe Machado Franco (Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, Rhapsody of Fire).
Since forming nine years ago, Helsott – whose name means “fatal illness” in Old Norse – has paid homage to pagan cultures and mythologies while keeping true to their American influences. The group 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. They built further momentum the following year via their debut full-length, “Woven,” behind which they toured alongside Arkona and Heidevolk, and on subsequent tours with the likes of Necrophagia and Tengger Cavalry.
Helsott on tour (more dates TBA):
5/11 Los Angeles, CA – Viper Room (California Wacken Metal Battle final)
10/25 Eindhoven, NL – Dynamo
10/26 Eisleben, DE – Wiesenhaus (10 year Best-Of Dark Troll show)
10/27 Ostiava, CZ – Banak Music Club
10/28 Brno, CZ – Melodka
10/31 St. Maurice, CH – Manoir Pub
Follow Helsott on their Facebook.