Remember the good old days when after a hard day of ransacking a small village, you’d return to your local tavern and celebrate the deaths of your enemies by raising a tankard of mead with your fellow battlemen? Well, if you were born any time in the past few centuries, then you probably don’t, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the festivities of pagan life anyway, thanks to Spanish pagan metal warriors, Heid. Heid manage to infuse Spain’s intricate and diverse history with a sound so brutal it would put most barbarians to shame. The fusion of traditional instruments, classic mythical tales and poems all wrapped up in vicious heavy metal goodness is not something to turn your nose up at!
Alba is the group’s first LP, and the majesty of the music they produce proves that they should be working on the follow up as soon as possible. We all know that pagan metal isn’t anything new, but while band’s such as Finntroll and Turias offer a similar style of playing but can grow boring after a while, Heid loses none of the energy or interest of the listener throughout Alba. The tone of the LP is set perfectly by the intro track “Triste esta el Rey” (Sad is the King), with a slow, traditional sound. Devoid of any modern instrument, you would be forgiven in thinking that you’ve been transported back to the Middle Ages. The song itself is an acoustic version of a popular Spanish myth, with “Triste esta el Rey”, a Sephardic narrative poem.
Don’t worry, Heid aren’t just a bunch of historical music enthusiasts, they know how to produce some ear-shattering metal. Tracks such as “El Traidor” (The Traitor) thrashing hard and fast, with the combination of guttural tones from singer Ivan Herrero and blastbeats thanks to drummer Pablo Cantalapie
Perhaps one of the best things about Alba is that it’s not in a rush to finish, with the final song, “Camino Sombrio”, lasting well over 10 minutes (plenty of time to provide some truly epic-feeling headbanging action). If listening to Alba wasn’t enough pagan action for you, then you’re in luck, because Heid actually have their own free to play game, featuring all of the band members and a pretty cool 8-bit version of their music. Check out their game here, and if you enjoy, make sure and support the band via the link above the game.
Alba is out on December 10th and is available to download here.