Huldre – Tusmørke (Gateway Music)

Sunday, 20th November 2016
Rating: 8/10

Not quite the polarizing genre it used to be (it seems the fever pitch may have subsided), folk metal has settled into a more comfortable niche with a diverse group of bands behind it. However, bands often aren’t sure how exactly to balance the folkier elements and non-traditional metal elements into the mix. But with Huldre, it’s more like they took traditional folk and injected the metal into it instead, which makes for a more interesting listen.

There’s a lot of folk to be heard within Tusmørke. Hurdy gurdy, flutes, and violin all play a part in the album, providing plenty for the more metallic instruments to work off of. With so many bands adding these components in as an afterthought or just “for the sake of being there,” Huldre impresses for the way that these pieces play a clearly defined role in the music. This allows for some excellent harmonies between the main riffs and the folk instrumentation – bouncing off of each other and enhancing rather than getting in the way. Much of the time, a mid-tempo pacing is employed, but on a few instances, a more fiery side of the band unleashes itself, such as on “Underjordisk,” where an almost black metal tone seeps through. These offer a nice change of pace without sounding completely out of left field, showcasing Huldre’s ability to write more dynamically. Lastly, the vocals are worth noting, with nothing but clean yet uniquely styled female vocals that grab your attention at equal measure to the music behind them.

Some may argue that Huldre aren’t “heavy” enough at times, but there’s plenty of bands that do that perfectly well already. Tusmørke merges folk with metal at a proportion that is more uniquely styled and compelling than what most of the genre is currently offering. If you want your metal folky, yet never turned into a goofy, gimmicky approach, it’s time to get acquainted with Huldre.

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