from the Netherlands , which translated in English would be ‘people of the heath land’ is yet another great folk/viking metal band under the Napalm
Records label. I first found out about them since 2008 with their “Walhalla
Gewacht” album, which is also worthy of listening.
Their 2010 release ‘Uit Oude Grond
’ (‘From old soil’) is their third full-length album and it represents another sample of their catchy, folky songs. Heidevolk
’s lyrics are inspired by nature, the history of Gelderland - a region in the Netherlands close to the border with Germany, and Germanic mythology. Also, part of the charm: it is completely sung in Dutch, so, unless you know the language, it is all left to the imagination or to internet translators.
Moreover, it is the vocals that make the songs special, the timbre of the vocalists Joris Boghtdrincker and Mark Bockting is similar to Vintersorg
and making a low, rich harmony, instigating you to a jig. To me, many of the songs bear some resemblance to the swedish band/project called Otyg
. It is also the presence of violins that can capture that old ages spirit, like the fiddles of a country side, with a tinge of melancholy.
The album starts in a dynamic manner with ‘Nehalennia’, a song that can immediately tell you what Heidevolk
is all about: clear vocals, rousing harmonies, old folk songs, tasteful use of traditional instruments and old school metal guitar riffs. They have also released a videoclip of this song, you should check it out.
The following tracks have a very hard rock like beat and can even sport power metal riffs and drumming (like the song ‘Vlammenzee’) , I can say that this band, besides the folk influences, has a very old school like sound as their ground, the drum beats sustaining the rhythm, creating an energetic drive that keeps the music flowing and a ‘jiggy’ style of singing the lyrics.
The song ‘Een Geldersch Lied’ is my favorite with its beautiful chorus of low vocals ,while ‘Alvermans Wraak ‘ is a jolly drinking song, that would go well in pubs, beer and medieval festivals.
‘Deemstering’ in the beginning reminded me of an old Edguy
song ‘Scarlet Rose
’, but the theme persisted and continued to flourish with the violin in the mix, and soon discovered it was an instrumental – and a quite nice one at that- which probably evokes a night scenery due to the sound effects in the ending.
I recommend this album to folk metal listeners, but also to people that are into hard rock and old school stuff – they might find many elements which they like. The folk influences are also pretty ‘cult’ sounding, they aren’t cheesy, so it is suitable even for more pretentious pagan metal fans. The only downside of this album is that the songs are not very diverse, even compared to their old material, but this really doesn’t present an impediment to really enjoy it.