Hellebaard - Fier

Dutch black metallers Hellebaard are obsessed with ancient Dutch culture, tales and folklore, the native tongued vocals falls a bit far from my radar as I don’t understand the language, but musically, it is a trip down a long dark path. This could be summed up as an album that you need to sit down and relax with in a darkened room, there are no hits, not catchy tunes, but pure melancholy and tranquillity brandishing beneath the mid-paced black metal tones. Fans of Negurã Bunget (in their lighter moments), latter-day Primordial and Drudkh will get this band, although the production is not as heavy as those other bands releases (it sounds quite low-fi on drums especially) and sometimes reminds of the UK band Ragnarok (not the Norwegian band!) whom also went down this folklore black metal road in the mid nineties. But whilst not an exact music copycat to those aforementioned bands, stating Bathory as a main influence raises some eyebrows, but when you look at the variation in that projects recorded career, that could mean anything after the first five albums!

‘De Eeuwige Strijdvelden’ and ‘Hellebaard’ are my standout tunes, epic in proportions and subdued in the same sense that makes you immerse your listening experience and take you back to times gone by and live and breathe the lyrical dictation. Folk-metal is not a totally favourable genre for me, but I have found this release wetting my appetite somewhat.

1. Hellebaard
2. Vleugels van Vuur
3. Bloedbroeders
4. De Eeuwige Strijdvelden
5. Verborgen Stad
6. Ravenklauw
7. Fier
8. Letum

Gardarika Musikk
Reviewer: twansibon
Mar 15, 2010

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