#HeathenForay Oathbreaker

3 min read

Band: Heathen Foray
Title: Oathbreaker
Label: Massacre Records
Release date: 7 April 2023
Country: Austria
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

Heathen Foray are back with a new album, after three years have passed since they released “Weltenwandel”, and I was really curious about how their sound would be… because that album was a big change in their music. And from what I’ve listened to in “Oathbreaker”, this new release is a very good approach to the “old” Heathen Foray, mixed with a bit of the “new” version of them.

In this new album, their lineup is the same as in the previous, and they are:

Robert Schroll – vocals
Jürgen Brüder – guitars
Markus “Puma” Kügerl – drums
Alex Wildinger – guitars
Markus Wildinger – bass

The way “Oathbreaker” starts makes me think about their 4 first albums… oh yes, this is their 6th full-length in 14 years, not bad at all! The two first songs have that pagan sound/vibes that was so characteristic of Heathen Foray. The opener “Oathbreaker” is catchy, dynamic, with galloping rhythm and guitars playing that kind of riffs that stick in your head for days, even when the music stops playing. And the solo, yes! Very well played! And talking about vocals, Robert keeps on putting his raspy voice at the service of the most catchy Melodic Death Metal melodies, combining English and Deutsch languages in this song. The chorus is highly catchy and addictive… Well, less than 4 minutes and the bar has been set high!

Leben” is the second song, it runs for more than 7 minutes and what we have here is another great display of epic and melodic tunes, guitars playing on fire, fast drums (I love the energy that Markus “Puma” puts in his playing), and a calm passage in the middle that I translate here ‘cause it’s in Deutsch but the darkening in Robert’s voice told me it was something to pay attention to:

“I roamed through the woods
Right behind the house
Every tree, every branch, every shadow saw
Shrouded in mystery, strange looking
There was neither time nor hunger nor tired
Just the now, the here”
(Thank you Google Translator!)

Sometimes the pace slows down a bit, like at “1000 Years of Human Flesh”; in the beginning, guitars build some of the most beautiful tunes, cradled by Markus’ restrained beating of his kit. There’s a lot of viking/pagan vibes running throughout this song, when the two guitars entwine playing epic melodies the result is majestic. Jürgen and Alex do a great work with their axes, not only in this theme but all along the album. And I love that Markus Wildinger bass is not buried in the mix, I thank the mastering person for that.

Sometimes Robert’s voice sounds like a deep beast growl, like in “Raiment”, and I’m just like wow!, I love it! ‘Cause it gives me goosebumps, as if he was snarling threatening words in my ear… Can’t resist this. And well, the closing theme, “Covenant of Swords”, is like a hymn, it puts me in a very good mood, guitars play in an amazing and triumphant mood, the chorus is again very catchy, I’m really rising my fist (and my sword, if I had one) in the air with enthusiasm… but damn, I suddenly realize that the album is over now! Ohh what a ride it’s been… 9/10 for me. Sílvia

Official Site

Official Site

9/10 Epic Storm
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