Heidevolk – Velua – Napalm Records– Release: March 20th 2015

Heidevolk – Velua – Napalm Records– Release: March 20th 2015.

Right now it’s about ten years since the Dutch folk metal band Heidevolk released their first album “De Strijdlust is Geboren”. Since then they’ve released several albums telling about the old pre-Christian times of the Netherlands, be it short stories about myths and history or even a full album about the glorified revolt against the Roman empire many centuries ago.
Now they’re about to release their fifth album “Velua”; a collection of stories and myths from around one of the most beautiful areas in the Netherlands, De Veluwe.

Heidevolk is:
Mark Splintervuyscht – Vocals
Lars Nachtbraeker – Vocals
Reamon Bomenbreker – Guitars
Kevin Vruchtbaert – Guitars
Rowan Roodbaert – Bass
Joost den Vellenknotscher – Drums

heidevolkEach album is a nice look into Dutch history and myth and “Velua” is no different. While I’ve never looked into the old stories surrounding the area around where I live the stories that Heidevolk tell now are very intriguing. Especially when they’re brought with such gusto.

Since the first album there has been a big increase of old school heavy metal in their sound, yet never forsaking folk influences altogether. And with this album it’s ever so slightly different again!

I’d swear that the intro to “Winter Woede” is a direct nod to Metallica’s “Hit the Lights”, but after that we dive straight into classic heavy metal with the typical Heidevolk dual vocal harmonies and they are damn good!
While I totally loved the lower undertones of Joris’ deep vocals I have to say that Lars’ vocals really add a lot to the vocal melodies, giving the music a broad folk choir sound. Aside from that I’m really happy with the return of the violin. It manages to gives the song both a more melodic, folky tune, as well as add a sense of grandeur here and there.

It’s always a very easy thing to call a band’s newest album their best so far, yet I have to say that after the already very impressive “Batavi” Heidevolk have managed to raise the stakes yet again. The songs manage to evoke a sense of brotherhood amongst metalheads, singing along arms locked together while headbanging, drinking beer and generally making a complete mess.
There is joy, there is anger, melancholy and glory. This album is a collection of great songs, as well as great stories as is quite often the case with Heidevolk.

As a final send-off there’s song fully sung in English, with really terrible Dutch accents. And it really is the cherry on the cake! Roll on the live concerts, the warriors stand ready

Heidevolk have managed to reinvent themselves on their fifth album, without really drastically changing anything. It’s hard to really point out what makes this album so damn good. All I can say it’s just pretty much perfect and a recommended purchase for metalheads who like a good dosage of folk in their heavy metal. Wodan heerst!

Track list:

  1. Winter Woede
  2. Herboren in Vlammen
  3. Urth
  4. De Hallen van mijn Vaderen
  5. De Vervloekte Jacht
  6. Het Dwalende Licht
  7. Drankgelag
  8. Velua
  9. Een met de Storm
  10. Richting de Wievenbelter
  11. In het Diepst der Nacht
  12. Vinland

Score: 4.9 out of 5


Text by: Robert Popovic

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