Heidra – Awaiting Dawn (Mighty Music)Tuesday, 3rd June 2014
After heralding a few demos and an EP, Heidra secured their record deal with Mighty Music after winning the Mighty Fight Night earlier this year and Awaiting Dawn is the result of that victory. What we have here is a blend of folk, death, black, and power metal that won’t feel unfamiliar if you listen to bands such as Ensiferum, Turisas, Equilibrium, or the multitude of cheery denizens of the Viking/folk persuasion.
The long and the short of it is that Awaiting Dawn sounds exactly how you think it should sound, given the similarity to the already mentioned bands. Catchy melodic riffing with occasionally bombastic keyboards and a combination of growled/screamed vocals and clean, “warrior” singing. All of the folk metal necessities are fully in check and they are pulled off to a fitting degree, even the lyrical themes.
But just because you’ve heard this sort of thing before doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out. You’d be hard pressed not to want to raise your plastic sword (or real one, depending on your own nerdiness level) as soon as the first triumphant clean vocals kick in on the title track. You may even be a little thrown initially with the shouted vocals midway through “Into Cursed Lands” but within a few listens you’ll have grown partial to them and be wanting to take part yourself. The clean vocals are one of the things Heidra nails best. The pick of the litter here would be the thrashing tempo of “The Eye of Giants” that sets the tone for one of the more epic moments of the disc around the 3-minute mark.
If you are in need of a soundtrack to your next dragon hunt, Heidra has you covered. While they aren’t bringing much new to the table, it’s a fun listen and the clean vocals are sure to win many over. Genre fans can’t go wrong with this one.