HEIDEVOLK - Batavi

Heidevolk - Batavi

9 songs
39:45 minutes
***** ***
Napalm

Bandpage

Dutch pagan metal band Heidevolk has been active for ten years, and used that time to establish their reputation. Even though their last album Oud Goude Grond two years ago saw the band manoeuvring themselves a little into a dead end street, their new material is anything but bad. On Batavi they once again bring a breath of fresh air into their music.

Their new record is a concept album about the Batavi, an ancient Germanic tribe from which later evolved the Franks. Heidevolk mainly deal with the battles against the Romans during the years 69 and 70 CE, after which the Germanic tribes had to submit to the Romans, which nowadays is still often the case when it comes to football.

Een Nieuw Begin is a strong opener and a prime example of how Viking metal should sound. The necessary bombast is present, the choirs are really strong and clean, reminding of Bathory’s Twilight Of The Gods, even though Heidevolk can’t yet achieve the same level of greatness. As the lyrics are mostly about battles, many of the tracks have a martial atmosphere, and especially Hed Verbond met Rome has quite some punch. The lyrical topic makes for an overall dark foundation, but the songs always contain enough energy. In Het Woud Gezworen has even a very accessible melody that could even attract non-metal fans. The folk aspect isn’t neglected either, as there are enough violin and flute parts that add occasional festival elements, even though the party atmosphere of the past is mostly gone. Vrijgevochten ends the album in a very dragging way, showing the band also at ease with the doom metal genre.

Batavi is a great pagan metal album with an ideal balance between heaviness and melody. Despite the rather dark topic, the band managed to create a powerful album that shouldn’t disappoint genre fans. Heidevolk have definitely found the way back to the right path.

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