HEIDEVOLK - Uit Oude Grond

Heidevolk - Uit Oude Grond

11 songs
50:47 minutes
***** *


I remember fondly Walhalla Nacht, the second album by Dutch Viking folk metal band Heidevolk in 2008. My anticipation was consequently high when I put its successor Uit Oude Grond in my stereo. But the joy was short-lived, with the album taking its title (from old ground) too literally.

It’s an old rule that one shouldn’t plant the same crop every year on the same piece of land. This also counts for music, because Heidevolk seem to be locked in a state of stagnation. The songs are not bad, apart from the awkward Levenslot. But it is disappointing how the band is only rehashing the predecessor’s ideas, thus choking off any element of surprise. The ingredients are familiar: dynamic build-up, catchy choirs, powerful vocals, occasional acoustic moments, but nothing new ever happens. The album contains a balanced mix of muscular songs, like Vlammenzee, one of the strongest cuts on the album, and Dondergod, and quieter material. The less fast material often comes with a healthy portion of gloom, drawing parallels to Týr from the Faroese Island. One such example is Alverman’s Wraak which starts rather traditionally before the electric instruments gradually show up and finally take the upper hand. It’s a shame that not every song moves on that high level. Towards the end, monotony creeps in with the band always getting back to the same patterns.

I am convinced that Heidevolk can do much better than this. Maybe they should take more time and allow new ideas to gestate, to come up with a more interesting result. The Dutch lyrics make it all sound somewhat exotic, but the band needs definitely more to set themselves apart from other likewise artists.

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