releasedate: 23 februari 2023
Heidevolk, Dutch pagan/folk legends since they first released their music, are back. And back with a vengeance! It has been 5 years since the release of their latest album Vuur van Verzet, and a lot has happened in those years. Not only the worldwide pandemic but also internally. In 2020, former vocalist Lars decided to leave the band, which led the band on the search for a new vocalist. That place has been filled by Daniel Wansink. Heidevolk has had a couple of changes in their line-up in the past so far, but let’s hope the current line-up will stay for a while, as this latest album sounds epic.
In comparison to their previous work, the new Heidevolk album is more in the epic metal realm. It helps that the vocals are less low and growling than before – there is more room for clean, clear, and a little higher (power-metal like) vocal lines than before. The EP opens with the song ‘De Strijd Duurt Voort’ and after the vocal harmonies Heidevolk is known for the track plunges into an epic wall of sound, and Skyrim-like chants. It gives me scandinavian symphonic metal vibes, more than before, and from the moment Jacco starts singing, it’s definitely a new sound for Heidevolk. I have to be honest, I haven’t been a big fan of Heidevolk before, but even I can’t deny this track is epicly good. The chant in the middle ‘hier zal ik leven, hier zal ik sterven, hier zal ik zij aan zij blijven staan’ is the kind of chant that will be sounding in the streets long after tonights album release party.
Wederkeer is one of the singles the band released prior to today’s release. It starts with the vocal harmonies Heidevolk does so well and a nice acoustic intro with clean guitars and violin. The deep dark vocal lines and again the chanting transports you right to the Viking Age this whole album is dedicated to. It’s a nice, soft, ballad, that showcases the bands’ songwriting skills and channeling emotions through sound.
Drink met de Goden (Walhalla) is more of a rock track similar to something In Extremo would write. More rock, less metal, but with the clean guitars and vocal harmonies still unmistakable Heidevolk. It’s a very easy-to-listen-to song which will probably appeal to a large audience. The song builds up towards the second chorus with the choir backing vocals, to go into a a-capella-choir chanting, which is epic. The final chorus is epic with lots of different layers and the massive wall of sound we first encountered on De Strijd Duurt Voort.
The final track of this EP, Klauwen Vooruit, had also been shared previous to the release. Every vocal line is harmonized on this track, which I love. I also really like the main riff played on guitar and some kind of flute, it’s one of te better melodies on the EP. Again this song has lots of layers and you have to listen to it at least 3 times to hear all the different parts. The main vibe to this song is again melodic metal, so the band has taken a turn in a different direction. After the relatively easygoing break in the middle, it builds to an epic ending in both music and lyrics. Great ending to a great EP.
It feels like a new era for Heidevolk, with a sound that’s similar, but new and more epic. The production of the album is really great and, something I’d never thought I’d say, I’m glad these guys gave up on the English lyrics and are sticking to Dutch for this album, ‘cause it’s way more fitting. All in all a great EP that’s gonna appeal to a broad audience, in our own country and beyond. Can’t wait to see this band live again!
Where to find Heidevolk?
Check these guys out on their own website.