Awaiting Dawn

Written by: MN on 28/06/2014 17:21:23

Having been active since 2006, it was about time that Heidra of Denmark came out with a full-length debut. Folk metal in Denmark is fiercely underrepresented in comparison with its northerly neighbours, Sweden and Finland, and therefore, having Heidra step into the limelight is both refreshing and intriguing. To those living under a rock, folk metal is defined as metal in all its variations, but with a distinct touch of folk instrumentation and time signatures. Historically, Skyclad is widely agreed to be the first folk-inspired metal act, but it was first in the late 90's and early 2000's that the genre seemed to be spawning up in virtually every corner of the world. From Andean folk metal with touches of charango and panpipes, to the throneholders of folk metal, Finntroll, that play so-called "Troll metal" with unusual time signatures, most common in the finish version of polka called humppa.. I know, I chuckled as well. Not only did Finland spawn Fintroll but also bands like Turisas, Ensiferum and Moonsorrow. Sweden and Norway also have their fair share of folk inspired metal acts. This raises the question of whether the Danish metal crowd is in fact rigidly conservative in comparison to its neighbours. Nonetheless, Heidra's debut is welcomed by anyone who enjoys folksy melodies but with distortion and a rib-rattling kick on the double pedal.

The black/melodeath metal shrieks tear through on most of the tracks found on this release and characteristically, a lot of their songs will have an acoustic interlude or a solo to add some complexity to the composition. Heidra have found their formula, but they don't exactly astound on this debut. There are a couple of songs which are brilliant, the eponymous "Awaiting Dawn" tallies up at 7.23 minutes and is progressive in composition and climatically rises in tension. Vocalist Morten Bryld posseses a searing shriek vocal that reminisces Aleksi Laiho of Children Of Bodom, but he also has a tenor/baritone clean vocal that gives an anthemic touch to a lot of the tracks. Another very penetrating song is "The Eyes Of Giants" that has a brilliant and catchy chorus complemented by a very solid solo to seal an epic track. "Wolfborn" has a Finntroll-esque touch and has another quite befitting solo and a change in tempo that sets of the euphoria.

The production is very strong on this debut, but it also has been a long time on its way so it would expected from a band with seasoned experience and for what it lacks in originality, it makes up with crisp clean production and a no-frills attitude to folk metal. This is not revolutionary music, but it is definitely something to put on to dream yourself away from our cosmopolitan realities into one filled with mythology, lore and of course bearded vikings with swords. Heidra, let's have some more releases, shall we? The band has proven that it can handle releasing a decent full length. Keep 'em coming.


Download: Awaiting Dawn, The Eyes Of Giants, Betrayal
For The Fans Of: Ensiferum, Týr, Finntroll, Turisas
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 16.06.2014
Mighty Music

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