There are many bands today that combine Metal with folk elements. But bands that combine folk music with metal elements you have to search and you will not find that much.
Huldre, from denmark, is one of that bands. They started back in 2006 and now there is their first full-length release called „Intet Menneskabarn“. The line up contains musicians that play violins, flutes, hurdy-gurdy and lute. And with Nanna Barslev the band has a female vocalist in front.
…and so „Ulvevinter“ starts with folk parts together with hard base riffing. Ok…the vocals needs getting used to. Language and sound of the voice could be too strange for some listeners. For me I think it fits perfectly to the music, that mixes strong violin elements with hard guitars. The music transports northern cold with the warmth of campfires. High nordic traditional factor.
„Trold“ begins more easygoing. Nanna performs in higher spheres. Guitar, bass and drums create a marching rhythm. Wandering through northern snowy fields. Later the song gets a speedful part. Great arrangements produce an epic touch to tell the nordic tales.
Violins and Nanna to start „Skovpolska“ before the guitars appear with staccato rhythms. Suddenly the sad sound turns into a twisted collage of tunes. This is music that creates pictures in front of your eyes. You feel that you are a part of the nordic sceneries. In the middle of a market place listening to the music of the gleemen. Great.
Faster now with „Brandridt“…furious. Kind of speed folk. Galopping rhythms, lot of power. Nanna’s voice like an scandinavian angel fights against it. The song interrupts in the middle again for a staccato guitar part. Seems to be a kind of tradmark for Huldre. The gleemen are back. Several traditional instruments spread the folk feelings aside the guitar inferno.
More drum orientated comes „Gennem Marksen“. Violins invite you to dance on the fields of folk.
A mysterious sequence at the beginning of „Vaageblus“. Like a dark gate opened and angels sing from behind. After that the song moves into a nearly black metal guitar part. With the high female vocals the track sounds a bit chaotic and disharmonic. The vocals will not really fit to the music here. But maybe the band wanted to act like this to give the song an unsettled character.
We are now back in more happy spheres with „Havgus“. Nanna only warbles some phrases. At least I cannot hear out any lyrics and also the booklet tells only two sentences. Guitars shred hard but all in all this song is for northern dance floors of the middle age
„Spillemand“ is, like the songtitle promises, a traditional violin theme underlined with guitars. Happy, interesting….good played. You nearly can breathe the air of long forgotten times.
Nanna and light acoustical guitars open „Beirblakken“. A really silent song, kind of a ballad with epic touch. Later, as the electric guitars appear, the song comes out of its lethargy but it keeps the balladesque character.
After a harder midtempo track called „Knoglekvad“ the album fades out with the elegian, epic „Skaersild“. Drums and guitars forward the song. Wonderful melodies created by traditional folk instruments and harmonic vocals rule the song that is interrupted in the middle for a slowdown. But the drums bring it back on track before the violins end this album.
For me Huldre plays that music cause of their credo to do it exactly like we can hear it on this album. You really can think that we are back in times when the gleeman played on markets, streets or other public places. The band mixes main folk music with metal elements. Not like other bands that play their metal involving some folk parts. And so Huldre is something very special, I wouldn’t say unique but a band that is shining out of the masses.
And this is fresh, this is innovative…people open minded for traditional folk music have to risk their ears for sure..
Points: 8,5 / 10
Review by Kerbinator
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