Heidevolk – Batavi
Strictly speaking, I am not a fan of folk metal. I do enjoy my occasional dose of Finntroll and Ensiferum, but from what I knew of Heidevolk going into this, I had no real expectations. Certainly I can say that my niche interest in folk metal was satisfied, and even encouraged. What was more surprising to me was how much, as a general metalhead, I was able to appreciate the album. I think that’s because at the heart of it, there’s just that core of head banging and awesomeness. Horns in the air folks! This one means business.
My first comment is on the drumming, and wow. Holy wow. The drumming is as fast and aggressive as they come and you color call me really impressed with that. Vocally, I guess I’m not used to metal in a foreign language, but sonically it sounds great. While I get the attraction to the heavier, harsher style of folk vocals, Heidevolk does offer an opportunity for a more broader appeal, especially to outside fans.
Right in the same vein with the drumming is the overall heaviness of the album. Heidevolk, at its core, presents a pagan/folk metal foundation with, at least on Batavi, a strong undertone of thrash metal. Also present is enough power metal influence to keep a wide variety of fans interested. Compared against your average folk metal, this is pretty good, with an added tone of accessibility thanks to a clean vocal style. The music is sufficiently heavy, varied, and melodic to keep me listening a few times through, and 40 minutes seems to be about the perfect length for this kind of record. There’s not a whole lot I could necessarily hold against Heidevolk here, but neither is there anything to push it up to being a standout record either. This is, plain and simple, a tremendously heavy folk album with clean vocals in a foreign language. Take it or leave it.
Dagg’s Rating: 3.25/5