Metalfest - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Heidevolk was definitely one of the bands I was really looking forward to seeing and hearing at Metalfest.
From the first time I saw them back in 2009, I have always had a good eye, and ear, for this Dutch band, and from what I knew of them based on earlier experiences, they were a perfect band to get the party started on the final day of the festival…

We were a bit stressed though, as we were running up to the main stage to catch their show, since it was for some unknown reason beginning almost five minutes ahead of schedule. Luckily for us, we noticed this on the acoustic intro that was played over the speakers, and we had almost reached a good position when the band entered and went straight into Nehalennia.
The crowd wasn’t very big, but they were ready to throw their fists in the air as they sang along to the “voorwaarts” part of the chorus, and we were off to a pretty good start.
The band was apparently also quite enthusiastic about this show, and already in the second song, Ostara, I saw them all jumping. The third song played was yet another Heidevolk classic, Saksenland, and again I saw all arms up in the air, and there was an impressively loud sing-along to the title word in the chorus and also the “oh-oh-oh” parts of the song. This is definitely the way Heidevolk work best, fast and folksy songs with strong and catchy choruses.

It was not to last though.
Soon enough the band began playing songs from their latest album, Batavi, and even though I have not heard the actual recording, I got the clear expression from the songs chosen for this concert that what I feel they do best, is something they have moved away from by now.
Even though the band was still happy and playful (at one time, the two vocalists Joris Boghtdrincker and Mark ‘Splintervuyscht’ Bockting were battling it out on air-guitar), the sound lacked the immediate recognisability and even their old-time costumes had been rejected for a quite ordinary outfit.
The effect of this could be seen on the crowd and its fading enthusiasm as they could no longer shout along in one syllable sounds. It was not until Beest Bij Nacht that a “hey” shout once again took form, and when the band wanted to end the show on a high-note with their cover version of Vulgaris Magistralis, the party mood almost reached a new top. After it was done though, and after a short conference within the band and with the personnel at the side of the stage, we were told that there was time for one more if the band hurried, and thus we also got to hear Krijgsvolk before the concert came to an end and the band had to hurry along.

I am sad to say that Heidevolk was not the great party starter that I had hoped for, and I did not get my expectations fulfilled by this show.
I’m not saying that their new material isn’t any good as I haven’t heard it well enough to make that judgement, but I do blame them and the new, more modern style of the band for the partial failure of the show. There were highlights spread out, but there were too many unexciting valleys in the set to keep me interested all the way through, and I am sad to say that even though I loved shouting along to the older songs where the band had everything going for them, there was still a bitter taste if disappointment in my mouth when they were done. The fact that they only spoke incomprehensible German between the songs didn’t exactly help them along either.
This was without a doubt the least entertaining Heidevolk concert I have seen, and I can only hope that they will be up to the task the next time I see them, as I am not ready to give up on them yet…


Het Wilde Heer
Een Nieuw Begin
De Toekomst Lonkt
Als De Dood Weer Naar Ons Lacht
Beest Bij Nacht
Vulgaris Magistralis (Normaal cover)

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