Huldre – Intet Menneskebarn

Huldre
Intet Menneskebarn
Due for release/Released: June 2012
Folk Metal
Released via Label: Self-Released

‘Intet Menneskebarn’ is the debut album from the Danish folk metal band Huldre.

Right from the intro to the first track ‘Ulvevinter’ you know you have entered folk metal territory. As with most bands of the same genre, Huldre plays a mixture of metal and traditional folk instruments. In this case the folk instruments include flutes and a violin-like piece of equipment known as the hurdy gurdy. Oh, and there’s two more things you should know about this band: they have a female singer and all the songs are sung in their native Danish.

‘Skovpolska’ is a melodic track which puts the emphasis on Nanna Barslev’s vocals and the accompanying melancholic sound of the hurdy gurdy. I can honestly say that my knowledge of this language is non-existent, but these guys make it sound very pleasant! Then suddenly the song takes a turn towards the experimental (read: weird). It’s as if somebody decided to play one of the instruments backwards (possibly the hurdy gurdy) and pick up the pace. Luckily the vocals return just time to redeem the song. ‘Brandridt’ is a far more balanced song with catchy folk melodies, beautiful vocals and heavy metal guitar riffs. Speaking of the guitars, they are a lot more audible on this track then on the previous ones and they have even managed to throw in a solo half-way in.

Other noteworthy tracks include the catchy, hurdy gurdy driven ‘Gennem Marsken’ and ‘Vaageblus’ with its eerie, atmospheric intro and a slight change in direction towards a more metal sound with guitars and vocals at the forefront. The latter is, in many ways a bit of an oddity on here, as it’s the one of the few tracks which puts a lot more emphasis on the guitar riffs than the hurdy gurdy. There’s also some catchy, folk metal instrumentals towards the end of the album out of which ‘Knoglekvad’ is the most memorable due to the use of the flutes.

Overall, Huldre offers an interesting take on folk metal. Their album has its weaknesses but it’s mostly pleasant-sounding, melodic and even melancholic at times. All I can say is give them a try, but don’t tune into this expecting to hear a Danish clone of Korpiklaani.

4/5

Iza Raittila

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