Review – Heidevolk: Uit Oude Grond

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Review – Heidevolk: Uit Oude Grond
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Heidevolk: Uit Oude Grond
Folk Metal, Viking Metal
Napalm Records
March 26th, 2010
Release length: 50:21

At first, Dutch Folk and Viking Metal band Heidevolk‘s third full-length album Uit Oude Grond may not really appeal to you. The album seems to not be much more than some generic music from the two styles this band is categorized as, offering little to nothing really new to the scene. While this assumption is basically correct, the material on Uit Oude Grond is still very well constructed and played, coming off more as a Hard Rock outfit with some Metal inspirations here and there. Thanks to those facts, and the way the vocals are performed on this release as well, Uit Oude Grond is an album that needs time to grow on you, and when it does, it’s actually a rather pleasing experience.

The first thing you’ll notice with this album will be the dueling vocal style used. Instead of utilizing the two vocalists in a varying manner of having low, bass driven vocals and high-pitched singing vocals dueting through the album, Heidevolk has both singers going throughout the album at the same time, layering them to give it more of that folkish feeling. This actually does it’s job well, but there’s no denying that at first it’s going to aggravate you and turn you away quickly from the album. This is the main reason you need to let this album grow on you, because once you become accustomed to this vocal approach, you’ll find that it really pushes the album along in a positive manner for many of the songs. However, aside the vocal issue, another reason you may wind up turning away from this release would be the issue of repetition.

While not every song on here shares a lot of similarities with many others, there are moments where it seems Heidevolk simply went in and changed one aspect of a song. Take “Dondergod” for example. This song is another mid-paced track that inadvertently goes into a slightly faster pace around two and a half minutes into it, and comes off more as a relaxing track you’d picture vikings singing while enjoying an ale, or warming up by the fire to tales of adventures they had been on. However, the same can be said for the opening track “Nehalennia”, which sounds practically identical in more aspects than just the chorus, and also seems to have more energy behind the performance of the song. Aside that, it’s about the time where much of the majesty of Uit Oude Grond starts to wear off since now you’re just not getting anything too spectacular outside of that traditional mid-tempo, if that, Pagan touched Viking rock/metal. “Alvermaans Wraak” kind of breaks up the monotony a bit due to it being a much faster paced track with more Folk influences then anything, as well as it happens to be an instrumental with chanting and talking going on in the background near the end.

But just as it took a little while for the album to grow on you, Uit Oude Grond can also start to wear thin after a while. The music on here is a noble idea, but it does start to get repetative, simply by the flow of the music and what the band offers, not necessarily in matching chords or performance structures. The heavy sounding music is enough to hook you for a while longer, but not much, and soon you’ll wind up just sticking to the first four, maybe five songs on this release then calling a day. Either way, the album is still worth sampling at your favorite online MP3 retailer at least, and it may find more play time with the more die-hard fans of the Folk, Pagan, and Viking Metal movements then others. While it’s not the most epic or engrossing album out there, Heidevolk‘s Uit Oude Grond still has some solid and hard-hitting cuts.

01. Nehalennia – 5:19
02. Ostara – 4:39
03. Vlammenzee – 3:57
04. Een Geldersch Lied – 4:09
05. Dondergod – 4:04
06. Reuzenmacht – 5:19
07. Alvermans Wraak – 5:13
08. Karel van Egmond, Hertog van Gelre – 5:16
09. Levenslot – 4:26
10. Deemsternis – 3:14
11. Beest bij Nacht – 4:48
Initial Pressing Score: 5.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Napalm Records.