Heidevolk // Uit Oude Grond
Rating: 4.0/5.0 —Addictive as hell
Label: Napalm Records
Websites: heidevolk.com | myspace.com/officialheidevolk
Release Dates: EU: 26.03.2010 | US: 04.06.2010

So, apparently Napalm has dibs on every awesome folk metal band in the universe and Dutch metallers Heidevolk are another one of their excellent pagan folk metal bands. These six guys came together for the first album in 2002 and are conceptually fairly unique, focusing on the local culture of Gelderland, what is now a province of the Netherlands located along the border with Germany. Heidevolk sing in their native Dutch, as one would expect, but this never causes any issues with understanding as the record is musically deep and entrancing.

What’s so cool about folk metal is the variety of places it can take you as a fan. It is true that many folk metal bands are similar, but there is also a tremendous amount of variety in what is considered folk metal. In the case of Vintersorg, for example, it was basically Ulver influenced post-black metal in its earliest form, whereas Otyg was producing music that were folkvisor in the old Swedish style, both of them are considered folk metal. Heidevolk, also folk metal, sounds a lot like Falkenbach, but they have a certain power metal kind of charm to them. Lots of straight beat, highly melodic music with great guitar solos and lots of guitar harmonies. But what differentiates these guys from power metal is that they focus on broadening their sound, including folk melodies and instruments.

Another thing that really stands out for me about Heidevolk is the intensely gorgeous vocals that permeate every crevice of this record. Choirs and harmonies have a strong appeal to this  Angry Metal Guy and have since I was an Angry Metal Kid, and this love is satiated by nary the existence of a single vocal line on this entire album that doesn’t have a harmony and sometimes there are two or three of them. These harmonies are powerful, haunting and add a very unique sound to something that might be otherwise not as unique. This combination of catchy melodies, beautiful harmonies and well-written music creates a formula that is addictive as hell and draws the listener back to this album again and again (and again and again).

Clocking in at 50 minutes, Uit Oude Grond is definitely worth picking up, particularly if you’re a fan of folk metal. Tracks like the opener “Nehalennia”, “Best Bij Nacht” and, probably my personal favorite, “Dondergod” will weed their way into the gray matter you’ve got floating around there and not let go. There’s a reason that Heidevolk is becoming better and better known in the scene: it’s ’cause they’re fucking awesome. And Uit Oude Grond just re-enforces this point.

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  • dijev

    That album made my top 15 of 2010:

    01. Barren Earth – Curse of the red river
    02. Gallowbraid – Ashen eidolon EP
    03. Draugnim – Horizons low
    04. Heidevolk – Uit oude grond
    05. Dr̴psnatt РHymner Till Undergangen
    06. Istapp – Blekinge
    07. Bifr̦st РHeidenmetal
    08. Ereb Altor – The end
    09. Сатанакозёл – Солнце Мёртвых
    10. Khors – Return to the abandoned
    11. Heathen Foray – Armored bards
    12. Odroerir РG̦tterlieder II
    13. Desultory – Counting our scars
    14. Skálmöld – Baldur
    15. Nydvind – Sworn to the elders

    With hindsight, Watain should have made it to this list as well.

    • Ah, good stuff, though that Ereb Altor CD wasn’t my thing at all. I gotta check out this Gallowbraid disc you’re talking about. I didn’t get Draugnim unfortunately and haven’t heard it and DrÃ¥spnatt I missed when it came out but fortunately that was remedied later. Good fucking list overall though.

      I do like Heidevolk a lot. I thought this record was great.

      What’d you think of Fejd’s new record?

      • dijev

        Fejd’s ‘Eifur’ is even better than their debut. Especially the song ‘Gryning’ (dawn) is truly remarkable.

        Ásmegin – ‘Arv’ is also a great album that springs to mind.