Live at The House of Blues
April 2nd, 2013
Review and Photos by Travis Baumann
Hailing from the Netherlands, Heidevolk have been putting out pagan folk metal for thirteen years. With their trademark dual clean vocalists at the forefront, they stand out from the rest of the bands in the genre and finally make their way to North America for the first time.
Heidevolk fill out an epic roster for this year's Paganfest and come to our shores promoting their latest offering, "Batavia". This release is a concept album detailing the revolt of the Batavian tribe against the Roman Empire and is filled with powerful hymns of ancient times.
With a number of other albums under their belt, they cover lyrical themes ranging from the history of Gelderland, Germanic mythology, and songs inspired by nature and the old ways.
On stage the band consists of two guitarists, a bassist, and drummer in addition to the forementioned dual vocalists, their combined voices lending a majestic and powerful attribute to the music.
They opened the set with "Nehalennia" which is the first song off the "Uit Oude Grond" album which means "From Old Ground" and is a strong way to make an impression. Riffs with a blazing groove blend into more traditional musical stylings leading into a hearty choir effect from all of the men singing at once. The dual lead vocals are truly awesome with the two mens' deep voices blending perfectly with powerful resonance.
They moved into "Ostara" from the same album and then played "Saksenland" off of their 2008 release, "Walhalla Wacht".
I was excited to hear some songs off of the "Batavia" release and was not disappointed with "Als de dood weer naar ons lacht" followed by "Een Nieuw Begin" which is one of my favorite songs of theirs.
They finished up the set with "Beest bij Nacht" and a Normaal cover of "Vulgaris Magistralis", both were excellent live. Being one of the opening acts, their set length was limited, but North America got a great first dose of an amazing band that offers something different within the genre.
I really love the gothic undertones lent by the deep vocals of the two frontmen and when all the band lift their voices in chorus it really hits you with an amazing, uplifting sensation. The entire audience was caught up in the feeling and loved the performance.
I can't wait for these guys to tour again, hopefully on one of the next Paganfests if not on their own.
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