Saturday, March 17, 2012
Heidevolk : Batavi
With Tyr's last album not doing much for me, I really needed was for these Dutch Viking LARPers to set up their game. Let's get my little political qualm out of the way first with these guys and get onto the music, and it's more for the fact we have the record straight, guys the Dutch were only Vikings in the sense that they were part of the territory covered during the Viking expansion movement, I history classes in America but they should in the Netherlands, so describing this band as Viking metal we are really just saying it has more balls than run of the mill folk metal...works for me moving on.
Every metal band will tell you their next album will be their heaviest yet, Heidevolk would not be telling you a lie, every thing here is stepped up. The production the most notable and the vocals really benefit from this. They are double tracked and bellowed out from a booming baritone, see kids you don't have to growl to sound heavy. Now the war chants in the back ground will prove rousing anthems to raise your beer to in the parking lot at Renn-fest, they might one day seem obnoxious to me but for now they don't detract from my listening.
One thing this album gets points for is that in the days of the Ipod where most listening is done on shuffle, this album proves a smooth cohesive journey front to back, no songs I would feel should be excluded from the Ipod,though considering summer has come early, I won't really need to feel like I'm galloping through the snow covered hills til next fall, so it will stay on the hard drive for air conditioned listening.
I have noticed by the acoustic guitar on the 6th song,the more melodic feel was welcome departure as the songs start to take on a similar feel and this is due in part to one of the albums strong points mentioned earlier the vocal production, which gives every thing a similar feel as all the songs are sung in dutch so lyrical content doesn't distinguish them. However even with in that , their are peaks and valleys, the rare appearance of harsh vocals and variations to the guitar attack. The drums while improved performance wise often have the same driving feel as if the double bass is trying to out run a dragon.
The 6th song is an instrumental interlude of sorts and leads back into more of a power-metal type guitar attack, any way you slice and dice this it's more epic on a budget than most of your bigger label releases of this sort of thing, it's very honest and while I don't believe their cosplay, I trust these guys to bring the metal with little pretense. Also they get credit for using their native tongue and folk melodies with out sounding like they are frolicking at the shire with Korpiklaani.
This going to be brutal enough for everyone, but if you like mid tempo power/folk/epic/viking whatever the hell you want to call this then these guys are worth checking out.