Heidra

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Heidra is definitely moving up in the world – they took part in the Danish leg of the latest Wacken Metal Battle, they have a new video out, and they’ve become part of the Ensiferum’s European tour of 2016. That’s quite a nice deal!

“It feels good to be home after spending time abroad!”
- Morten Bryld (vocals/guitar)


Now, even though the band is obviously, and understandably, doing what they can to make it into the international league, it is still here in Denmark that they have their true fanbase, and that could easily be heard this evening. Even though the floor was far from filled when it was time for the band to step up unto the stage, there were loud and insistent shouts beckoning them to hurry up! As they finally did come on, the size of the crowd instantly increased as well – still not massive, but the difference could be felt nonetheless.

To kick things off, Heidra opened up with the title song from their debut, Awaiting Dawn, and the sing-along friendly chorus was an instant hit in the front rows of the audience. As if this wasn’t good enough on its own, Heidra had another trick up its sleeve that was soon revealed, and that was vocalist and frontman Morten Bryld donning an acoustic guitar – it’s present on the album, but I’ve never seen them do this live before, and it was a nice addition.
There was something else different as well, in the fact that the line-up once again was slightly different. The bass position still has not been permanently filled, so Heidra got Mark Klavsen (Mental Coma) to fill in on the four string. Drummer Dennis Stockmarr and guitarist Martin Warming Jensen are still very much a part of the band, but that didn’t stop them both from sitting this tour out for personal reasons. In stepped Martin Haumann (Mother Of All) to fill out the drum position, and Jardén Schlesinger (Sylvatica) took over guitar duties. Since this particular show was in Copenhagen, the band’s home turf, Jensen was here to play, but that didn’t stop Schlesinger from making a noticeable and wild guest appearance in the second and third song of the set.

“Copenhagen! Are you fucking ready? Are you ready for blood? Are you ready for battle?!”
- Carlos García Robles (guitar)


Schlesinger might have been the wildest one of the bunch at the time he was on stage (too bad his guitar drowned out everything else while he was there), but he got a run for his money as Heidra pulled out one last ace for their final song – Laura Emilie Beck (Huldre) joined the fun with her awesome violin skills, and thus the success of the show was cast in cement!
The actual frontline of the band did a mighty fine job of it as well. Bryld is getting better and more fun every time we see him, and Robles took an even more active role in speaking to the audience, loudly guiding them through shouting sessions and horn lifting. Even Jensen had slightly upped his game, even though I’m sure there are still some reserves that he has yet to tap into, and the borrowed guys did just fine as well. Danny Svendsen was hard to catch, as he stood slightly hidden on the far opposite side of the stage from where I was standing.
Together, all of these guys were showing more security in themselves and their performance, and that gave instant points among the audience. I was surprised to hear that a few people around had never seen Heidra before, but they smiled and said that this was definitely something they would check out further. Mission accomplished for Heidra I would say!

Yes, Heidra is still a band that is gaining momentum, and they are still getting more fun to watch, so for anyone who’s showing up to a later show at this tour, remember to show up early.

Setlist:

Awaiting Dawn
Witch Of Prophecy (feat. Jardén Schlesinger)
The Eyes Of Giants (feat. Jardén Schlesinger)
Betrayal
Sworn To Vengeance
Wolfborn (feat. Laura Emilie Beck)

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