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The Halo Effect – “Official Band Documentary” (Nuclear Blast Records) [Documentary Review]

Gothenburg’s death metallers The Halo Effect recently unveiled a 30-minute self-titled documentary (Nuclear Blast Records), along with exclusive footage of the band in the studio.



The Halo Effect in 2022, photo by Markus Esselmark

It’s been a busy time for Gothenburg’s death metallers, The Halo Effect.

2020 was a nightmare for everyone, resembling the average heavy metal album cover in some cases, but The Halo Effect used their time wisely by planning a reunion, and as soon as they were able, were embarking on what was to become their critically acclaimed Days of the Lost album. All of this and more is discussed in their new 30-minute self-titled documentary, along with exclusive footage of the band in the studio.

As with most bands of the genre, the heavier the music, the nicer the band members appear to be. Here we see vocalist Mikael Stanne in conversation with bassist Peter Iwers and the two old friends are about as threatening as a couple of Dads picking their kids up from primary school. Stanne is a typically soft-spoken Swede until he picks up the mic, and a guttural roar is emitted that would shred the throat of any other mere mortal.

Much like Jag Panzer, who I wrote about on V13 earlier this month, their visuals are OTT and bordering on the ridiculous, but their heart is in their work, and they are clearly as close as family and much admired.

Having been on the scene for quite some time in various incarnations (In Flames, Dark Tranquility), The Halo Effect seems to effortlessly turn up at the studio and fall into a routine of writing sure-fire anthems and recording them with relish and skill.

Even now and then, they seem confused as to how they got where they are. Stanne talks about how he never understood why people placed them under the “The Gothenburg Sound” label, feeling they were more unique than that. Now he sees that labelling as “a compliment, a sign of respect.”

Such musings make up the greater part of this short film as band members sit around between recording and reminiscing. There is not enough music here to gain any new fans, but the warmth of the dialogue between them should satisfy existing Halo Effect followers.

As an added bonus, the band have also released unto the Western World a visualizer for the track “Path of Fierce Resistance,” which was previously only available on a Japanese release. The visualizer sees grainy footage of the band encased within a typically death metal animated frame of animal skulls, daggers, flames and mythical beasts. It’s a suitable companion to the documentary, allowing new listeners a chance to hear the band going at it full-throttle.

The band will be walking the earth this summer and appearing at the following festivals.

05.06.2023 – Gothenburg 400th anniversary festival, SE18.06.2023 – Graspop, Dessel, BE
25.06.2023 – Full Force, GER
20.07.2023 – John Smith Festival, Laukaa, FI
07.09.2023 –  Progpower USA XXII, Atlanta, USA

The Halo Effect “Path of Fierce Resistance” single artwork

The Halo Effect “Path of Fierce Resistance” single artwork

The Halo Effect ‘Days of the Lost’ album artwork

The Halo Effect ‘Days of the Lost’ album artwork


Del Pike is a University lecturer in Film and Media in Liverpool (UK). He writes film, music, art, literature and culture articles and reviews for a number of websites. Del loves nothing more than snuggling down in a dark cinema, getting sweaty at  a live gig or drifting off late at night to a good book. He loves cats. He enjoys promoting new talent online so please say hi if you have something to show.