Herei­ was founded as a musical project about three years ago, but it is only nearly the end of 1995 that it takes it's final form, with the entry into the line-up of the former Asgard singer Franco Violo, and the former Alex De Rosso bass player Alessandro Arcuri. Thus, nowadays Helrei­ are Franco Violo on vocals, Marco "Yorick" Tortato on the guitar, Alessandro Arcuri on the bass, Daniele Soravia on the keyboards and Luca Roggi -former Black Jester- on the drums. The initial project, at the time of foundation, was to work on instrumentale pieces, exploring thus the most extreme stream of Progressive Metal, but the need of a narrative support to the songs and to the stories to be evoked in their works have characteristed their choice of Franco Violo as singer, surely well suitable to the kind of music the group would have liked to produce. His experience with Asgard was the best presentation for a band that was looking for a powerful but expressive singer, and his familiarity with Northern themes and atmosphere was completely shared by the Helrei­ something original and more progressive. An article on the fanzine Arlequins in 1996 struck attention of Maurizio Chiarello of Underground Symphony Records, and so the band, also thanks to the precious interest by Loris Furlan, obtained his first contract, and the great chance to make an album. The sound of Helrei­ is the result of the meeting of the most different experiences, which seem to have their roots in the 70s rock progressive of Marillion, and in the heavier atmosperes of 80s Metal, evoking in certain melodic solutions Iron Maiden. Nevertheless the band now looks, yet maintaining a quite heavy sound, at different styles and interpretations of music such as the symphonic metal of Savatage, and the sophisticated on of Dream Theater.


Helrei­ is an Old Icelandic word, which means a word of the language spoken by Scandinavian peoples in the Middle Ages. It has been suggested by the reading of an ancient Icelandic collection of mythological and epic poems called äPoetic Eddaö. Here, it is the part of the title of one of the pieces: Helrei­ Brynhildar (=Brynhild's Journey to the Netherworld). The word contains an ancient letter [­] which stands for [dh], the modern translitteration of the sound /­/, like in english that (=­Št). Helrei­ means Journey To The Netherworld (Hel=Netherworld; rei­=journey, travel).