Heathen Foray - The Passage

10 songs
43:31 minutes
***** **
Black Bards


Even though Vikings didn’t play a vital role in Austria’s history, the Alps republic has also its share of bands dabbling in the pagan metal genre. Like for instance Heathen Foray, who after a self-titled EP, are now back with their first longplayer The Passage.

The five musicians from Graz act very classically on their debut. The songs are mostly played at a very brisk pace, full of catchy melodies, but always and again find time for more laid back parts. The folklore elements are neither neglected, which is most obvious on Chants and Dragon’s Eyes. Despite the use of traditional instruments, the metal component never has to stand back. The German sung Wolkenbruch lives up to its name by showing the band from its stormy side, and even ends on a slightly symphonic note. Heathen Foray have worked hard on their songwriting to prevent ending up with a monotonous product. This should be reason enough to take the Austrians seriously. They only have to fine-tune the vocals whose raw delivery fir the music but lack eventually variety.

Despite that small criticism, Heathen Foray have every reason to be proud of their first longplayer. The Passage offers more than one reason for fans of the genres to give these newcomers a chance.

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