Review: Nodfyr “Eigenheid” [Ván Records]

Review: Nodfyr “Eigenheid” [Ván Records]

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Ván Records proudly presents the debut full-length album “Eigenheid” from Dutch pagan/heavy metal band Nodfyr, active on the metal scene for ten years now. This 40-minute release is full of epic melodies, doomy restraint, and folky catchiness.

Nodfyr isn’t one of the productive bands; they prefer to prepare scrupulously for their epic musical journeys without a haste or sharing of half-raw ideas. Every general idea, every musical instrument is in line with the others, creating the wholeness and imbuing the total calmness. So, on this first important release (they had one EP before that and a single) the natives of Gelderland have managed to personify their love for their fatherland and for heavy music with a pure heart. The songs are based on the historical and cultural themes about their native lands, ancestors, and wonderful nature landscapes, as well as their personal influence through these fundamental topics.

Generally, this heathen metal is based rather on traditional/doom metal foundation, long epic and slightly mournful opuses are combined with medieval spirit and folky merriness. This album lacks visible surprises and radiates the perfect calmness and austere acceptance of the present through the experience of the past. The folk elements also increase the atmospheric perception, even when they transform into anthem-like hymns; and the variability is obtained due to the wide range of folk instruments with the help of ethnic band Folkcorn.

The medieval elements are the most effusive on the songs “Mijn Oude Volk” and traditional instrumental “Driekusman”, but the most war-like attitude maintains the song “Zelf”. “Wording” is adorned with female back-vocals of soprano guest singer Tineke Rosseboom, adding some dreaminess and natural lightness; and the song “Bloedlijn” even astonishes with new age vibes. But the main singing of Joris van Gelre perfectly fits into this traditional doom metal pattern, clean, articulated and dolorous supplement to this pagan creation in a Dutch language (and with some epic choirs in choruses). The songs are not structurally complicated or overwhelmed with sound effects or chaotic disharmony, in some way they are slightly primitive, but with strong spirit and ideally polished musical instruments. The guitar chords are simple, but evocative, but solo parts aren’t too progressive or crazy, inspired by heavy metal directness (like “Zelf” or “Gelre, Gelre”). And the last song “Nagedachtenis” sums up the solemness and epic completeness during this classical sad composition.

“Eigenheid” can be translated as “identity”, it’s very suitable name for this album, it emanates the aura of historical spirit of Dutch folk, sorting out all the important themes through a subjective view, but in a very artistic manner. Everything here fits in the concept, even the nature-inspired artwork from the real life complements the vision of Nodfyr. So, in a relaxing pace “Eigenheid” holds the listener in a natural balance between vital contemplation of present and significant treasures of the past.

Release date: March 5, 2021

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