Title: Forfedrenes Taarer
Label: Edged Circle Productions
Release Date: 5 May 2023
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
What can I say about Heimland: A lot! A total surprise for me, but this band just becomes apart of the heartbeat of this country’s extreme sound, blending in pagan mysticism and the unrelenting power of Norway’s strong roots in black metal. I cannot recommend enough if Norwegian, pagan, black metal is in your wheelhouse of sound, then this album is a must hear.
Heimland (roughly translates to home country), has been active since 2016 with their first offering of their sound in 2019, being two singles entitled “Skog” (Forest) and “Heimland” (home country). Next in 2021 an EP is released entitled “Fimbulvinter” (Mighty Winter). Now, this year the band has their debut album called “Forfedrenes Taarer” which in rough English translation means, The Tears of the Ancestors. That title alone grabbed my interest, because I think many ancestors of cultures/ways of life, no longer exist, and many stories of the ancestors are going unsaid.
Band members are: Gnist, vocals, Alfhar, guitars/vocals, Lord Thamuz, drums, and Morgoth on bass guitar. That’s who’s behind the making of this debut album, and now I want to tell you more about the 7 tracks in this album.
First up, “Dodens Foerstning” (The Prince of Death), and the raw edged acoustic sound captures you in the first few strums. It’s a bare sound, but it stands alone in its beautiful expression, entrancing you with its melancholic tone.
Next is “Ved Dodens Vugge” (At the Cradle of Death), that melancholic tone that was first heard in the first track is played out on lead guitar, but this delivery is the black metal sound, of tremolos, mid paced drumming, and the guttural growling vocal. Yes, hear that tone, but this builds to that ferocity that is the Norwegian sound. Those drums pace it out and build it, break it, and rebuild it. Guitars come into the fracas, showcasing the mood of a wave in my mind. Hurling downwards and climbing back up, with all this guitar/drum counterpointed with a savage, guttural, growling vocal.
“Lagt I Ruiner” (Laid in Ruins), whoa this one hits you immediately with the rhythmic sound of lead guitar setting out an addictive riff. The style of singing is a guttural melodic note, very captivating when you hear everything at once. Drum style slows and speeds up to encompass the nearly galloping style of guitar. Did I say this song is addicting? To hear all of the range of vocals, guitars and drums just blasting and racing into an earworm.
“Iskald Raatten Jord” (Icy Rotten Earth) follows, those guitars, keep that attention focused, with tremolos, some few solos, and an extended bass riff. Not very often to hear the base so clearly. Enjoyed the singing of course, but the guitars in this really grab you.
“Forfredenes Taarer” (The Tears of the Ancestors) is up next, this is a blistering, guitar tremolo inferno to jump in with, then counter beat drum patterns, slowing and powerful. Its hard to describe the absolute immersion into such deeply grounded sound, it sounds like a heart beat that echoes with intensity. Some more of that acoustic guitar chimes in for a brief pause, then you are immediately set on fire all over again. The musicianship of this band is something to hear.
Sixth track is “Skugger Fra Ein Svunnen Tid” (Shadows from a bygone Era), begins like the previous track, with a speedier delivery of guitars and drums. Track explodes soon after ward with the fiery vocal taking us to the close of the track.
Last track is “AEttestupt” (roughly translates to The Steeplechase), solid, addicting riffs and drums to again capture your ears. Melodies in this track are hypnotic, raging, speeding, and epic in nature.
After all the ear blistering mastery of singing and guitars the last few beats are the pagan inspired sound of acoustic guitar.
I give an 8/10. Metal Marie
What I so admire about Heimland is that their sound reminds me of old black metal, from the past: established and true. I like that they incorporate melodies into the harsh sounds that they have made fine use of, because the changes in sounds holds your interest and keeps you wondering what other surprises they have incorporated.
I so appreciate hearing this in a newer album from today.
8/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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