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Heidevolk - Uit Oude Grond

Heidevolk
Uit Oude Grond
by Mike Novak at 24 May 2010, 4:05 PM

Folk metal has always been a hit or miss genre for me. I don’t really get why so many bands insist on using harsh vocals since they contrast so greatly (not in a good way) with all the folk instruments and melodies. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part this approach ruins otherwise acceptable music. I’m always on the lookout for bands that can get the “folk-metal formula” right, because when this occurs, the results are typically fantastic (check out ENSIFERUM’s self-titled for my favorite example). I first heard of HEIDEVOLK through a folk-metal compilation video on YouTube, and while the music I heard was decent, it was nothing that jumped out to me. All of this changes on “Uit Oude Grond.”

HEIDEVOLK started out in 2002 under the name HYMIR. The band members wanted to make a band that celebrated nature, mythology and history. The band started performing live in 2003 and released their debut in 2005. “Uit Oude Grond” is their third album and their second released with Napalm Records.

The first thing I noticed when listening to the album is that it rocks. So many bands of the genre get so caught up in all the folky instrumentation that the only thing resembling heavy metal is the presence of a growly vocalist and some tremolo riffing. Here the songs are dynamic; they don’t just take one musical idea and ram it into the ground in a song. There are some guitar solos, which while not overly technical, add some flare. The drummer is not content to just play the same drum patterns over and over, he actually adds something to the songs and mixes things up.

However, the most important reason that “Uit Oude Grond” is such a great album is because of how strong the riffs and songwriting are. Opener “Nehalennia” does exactly what openers are supposed to do; get the listener fired up! This is a METAL song that happens to incorporate folk melodies, I certainly found myself raising a fist in the air during the shout-along parts. On the other hand, we have a few songs that are more melodic but just as intense. “Een Geldersch Lied” has a haunting lead guitar line that has and still does stick with me, reappearing in my mind in odd moments, yet I welcome its intrusion because it is so unique. There are also two instrumentals (one has some chanting but I still count it as an instrumental) that are as good as any of the other songs on this album.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of “Uit Oude Grond” is not how high-quality some of the songs are, but rather how that level of consistency is maintained through most of the album. There isn’t much that I can criticize about the album, other than the fact that several songs are slightly weaker (but still enjoyable). With ENSIFERUM releasing crap since Jari left and SKYCLAD not being relevant for years now, HEIDEVOLK has positioned themselves as the vanguard of the folk-metal genre. “Uit Oude Grond” is a must-own and it will not be leaving my CD player in the foreseeable future.


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Nehalennia
  2. Ostara
  3. Vlammenzee
  4. Een Geldersch Lied
  5. Dondergod
  6. Reuzenmacht
  7. Alvermans Wraak
  8. Karel Van Egmond, Hertog Van Gelre
  9. Levenslot
  10. Deemsternis
  11. Beest Bij Nacht
Lineup:
Sebas "Bloeddorst" Van Eldik - Guitar
Joost "Vellenknotscher" Westdijk - Drums
Joris Boghtdrincker - Vocals
Mark "Splintervuyscht" Bockting - Vocals
Reamon "Bomenbreker" Bloem - Guitar
Rowan "Roodbaert" Middelwijk - Bass
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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Edited 08 December 2021
 

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