Formed in 2016, Norway’s HEIMLAND are a band out of time. Despite their apparent “newness” and year of formation,HEIMLAND harken back to ancient times – specifically, the golden age of Norwegian black metal, and particularly its more pagan variants. Be it equally early ENSLAVED, WINDIR, HELHEIM, EINHERJER, or KAMPFAR, HEIMLAND similarly maintain an epically inclined and soothingly harsh sound. Forget the past couple decades of black metal: there you will find Heimland, proud and pagan.
Point proof is their long-awaited debut album, Forfedrenes Taarer. While those aforementioned sonic signposts are surely planted across the album, here do Heimland exhibit their own flair, never belabored nor blustery. Swift and succinct at 35 minutes, the seven-song Forfedrenes Taarer takes the listener across myriad landscapes – desolate tundra, raging seas, bloody battlefields, solemn castle keeps – with an ever-roiling and authentic physicality that spans searing speed and grim marches alike. What’s more, HEIMLAND are not afraid of a bit of melody, downcast and dreary it may be; even amidst that sometimes-hypnotic speed, its textures create a cool rippling effect that should be familiar (and enticing) to those who’ve peered deeper beneath black metal’s oft-impenetrable exterior.
Graced with gorgeously pastoral cover art by Johan Christian Dahl, Forfedrenes Taarer is guaranteed to place HEIMLAND ahead of the throwback pack: vintage vibes, effortless style, and simply strong songwriting!