Danish epic folk black metallers Heidra from Copenhagen have finally released their debut full-length album “Awaiting Dawn“. The band was formed back in 2006 and released its first 2 demos, “The Saga” in 2008 and “Northern Tales” in 2011. In 2012 they self-released the EP “Sworn to Vengeance“, their first professionally recorded work, which actually put the band on the map, helping them play in important gigs with some of the big names of the genre. After their victory at the 4th edition of Mighty Fright Night, they signed a record deal with Mighty Music and the label released Heidra’s debut album on July 2014.
What is really impressive with Heidra is that they keep improving and evolving with each work. And while their demos were at a very good level, their first EP was a huge step forward soundwise, while the debut album “Awaiting Dawn” is a much more complete work, in terms of songwriting and balance. The 9 songs of the album last for over 48 minutes and the band manages to combine all its influences in a more personal and tight result. This time I find their guitars more dominant in their sound, taking the lead from the synths. The core of their music is a mixture of technical melodic black death metal, epic power metal and folk metal. Great melodic lead guitars and epic riffs are combined with accompanying symphonic synths and few acoustic folk instruments, while there is great variety in the vocals too, where epic black metal growls are often combined with clean male vocals and choral refrains. Despite the overall balance in their sound, there are differences in the songs both in tempo and music style; some of them have a more extreme approach, others sound more technical and melodic, others are more atmospheric and some of them have a symphonic or folk touch, but all of them retain the epic fantasy atmosphere of the album. The production is very professional, something expected though, since it was recorded in Andy La Rocque’s Sonic Train Studios, mixed and mastered by Andy La Rocque himself. Once again all lyrics are in English and actually “Awaiting Dawn” is a concept album, the first chapter of a fantasy story about war and betrayal.
Heidra have released a very promising debut album. While they don’t “re-define” or refresh the genre, they offer quality music with a very good sound and production. “Awaiting Dawn” is a great recommendation to fans of epic black metal who like melodic, symphonic and folk elements in the mix and Heidra is definitely a band to watch out. The album is released via Mighty Music / Target Group in a digipak edition CD with 16-page booklet including all the lyrics. The beautiful artwork is by Dragan Paunović and his illustrations capture perfectly the atmosphere of the album. You can visit Heidra’s official profiles below to get a taste of their music, or watch the video for the song “Wolfborn“, the 7th track of the album.