Written by: MST on 22/02/2012 12:36:52

The way I see it there are two kinds of folk metal bands: the ones that incorporate special instruments to make their sound folky, like Finntroll or Korpiklaani, and the ones that play existing genres such as heavy metal, power metal, melodic death metal or a mixture of numerous genres and write lyrics about ancient cultures, great historic battles and/or magic. Heidevolk from the Netherlands belong to the second group, and "Batavi" is their fourth album since their 2002 inception.

Heidevolk's brand of folk metal is based on a foundation of heavy metal that could be compared to Turisas or a faster Týr. The duo of vocalists in Joris Boghtdrincker and Mark Splintervuyscht are the center of attention at all times as the music is built around their melodic and incredibly catchy vocal lines. Having two vocalists can be a bit of a gimmick for some bands, but it works for Heidevolk because the two singers sing on top of each other in low and high pitch respectively, giving the vocals an extra dimension. The vocal lines are structured magnificently well, and songs like "In Het Woud Gezworen" in which new vocal structures replace each other continuously and "Wapenbrouders" with a great gig-friendly chorus make for some extremely catchy, fun and sing-along friendly vocals. Oh how I wish I could speak Dutch.. But enough of that.

There is of course more than vocals to music: the guitars do their own part by creating great melodic riffs to accompany the vocals, some heavy riffs for head banging once in a while and some rather enjoyable solos while the drums do everything possible to enforce the rest of the band by hammering away slowly to the heavy parts only to suddenly go all out in blast beats when the music picks up the pace. I may have said in the previous paragraph that the vocals are the center of attention at all times, but the instruments alone should make any folk metal fan (or heavy metal fan for that matter) tap their feet along to the music.

Before I started writing this review I had decided to conclude that while this is great stuff for partying, it's not exactly original and spectacular in any way. But I changed my mind. With "Bativa", Heidevolk present to the world their finest work to date: an album chock full of great melodies and vocal anthems for days of enjoyment. This is folk metal the simple way, and when this shit works, it just works.


Download: Een Nieuw Begin, Wapenbroeders, In Het Woud Gezworen,
For The Fans Of: Týr, Ensiferum, Turisas
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.03.2012
Napalm Records

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