Graspop Metal Meeting Books Pantera, Slipknot, Disturbed, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Kreator, Meshuggah, Gojira, Parkway Drive, Testament, Voivod, and More


Pantera, Disturbed, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Architects, Behemoth, Kreator, Meshuggah, Gojira, Parkway Drive, Testament, Voivod are among the 103 artists who have been added to the 26th edition of the Graspop Metal Meeting, set to take place June 15-18, 2023 in Dessel, Belgium. Tickets are on sale tomorrow at the links below. Continue reading


Heidevolk – Vuur Van Verzet


In the arena of folk and pagan influenced metal, which is often (and at times unfairly) thought of as pure silliness, drinking and near cartoonish portrayals, Dutch Folk Metallers Heidevolk have always been a consistently decent outfit, but one that has never reached the mainstream dabblings of a Turisas. Perhaps this is, in part, due to their more balanced take on the genre which sits between the fun-loving, grandiose approach, thoroughbred Heavy Metal grit and a more intelligent, nuanced side; Heidevolk is a name yet to progress beyond the most ardent of Folk Metal fan-bases only.Continue reading


Heidevolk – Velua


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Velua (Napalm) is the fifth full-length album by the Dutch Pagan Metal band Heidevolk. Since their conception in 2002 this band has made music that shows their passion for nature, Germanic mythology, and the Veluwe; the beautiful nature in their native province of Gelderland. Heidevolk combine heavy riffs in dirty distortion with mellifluous string and violin arrangements, add the occasional power solo, and ground it all with solid drum and bass.

Their vocals, however, are what truly set them apart. The vocals of Mark Splintervuyscht and Lars Nachtbraecker combine to chants with a low voice moving over a limited range and a high voice adding counter melodies and definition. They rarely have two notes to a syllable, and you will not find many drawn out words, but a near spoken vibe which I have not encountered in any other band, but which works well with the Dutch language. Lyrically they paint scenes or recreate stories and since most Dutch rhyme is inherently clichéd, I am pleased that they rarely force rhyme into their lyrics.

The opening song, ‘Winter Woede’ (Winter Rage), sets the tone for the album: heavy and melodious intertwined with a catchiness that means you can hum along to the chorus before the song is out. The next song, ‘Herboren in Vlammen’ (Reborn in Flames), is more in the direction of Power Metal than pagan, with parallel guitars, fast drums, and a strong guitar solo. ‘The Vervloekte Jacht’ (The Cursed Hunt) initially reminded me of In Extremo in its riffs and vocals, but soon regained its individuality. ‘Het Dwalende Licht’ (The Wandering Light) was one of my favourite songs of this album, because it has an excellent balance between ethereal string arrangements and solid power metal, and with the addition of the vocals evokes a scene where the will-o’-the-wisp lures someone to their watery grave. The title track ‘Velua’ praises the hardy people who inhabited the Veluwe with dreamy guitar licks and chanting. Another favourite on this album is ‘Richting the Wieven Belter’ (Towards the Wieven Belter). It opens with very high female vocals, and they remain present in some form throughout the song, and tie the music to the lyrics about the mythological White Women.

All in all this is a very solid album which alternates between a Pagan feel and a more Metal feel. While not all the songs really catch the ear like these mentioned here, the remaining songs are far from bad, and I gladly recommend it to lovers of Pagan metal.

8.0/10

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LORRAINE LYSEN


Heidenfest Live Review


Ensiferum02 Heidenfest grew into probably the largest, reoccurring folk metal phenomenon (aside from Paganfest) in Europe. And even while it is an annual event, it’s popularity among metalheads is far from decreasing. The venue 013 in Tilburg (NL) was crammed with fans watching the following bands: Frosttide, Winterstorm, Suidakra, Heidevolk, Equilibrium, Turisas and Ensiferum.Continue reading