Wilco : Alvenrad is a relatively new Dutch band that has emerged from the woods of the Veluwe, an extensive forest in The Netherlands. With ‘Habitat’ they present their debut album. Of course you already guessed what kind of music this is: Dutch Pagan/Folk/Black. This new act doubtlessly tries to catch a free ride on the success enjoyed by Heidevolk and Myrkvar, inhabitants of the same forest.
Yet this is not a copy of the acts mentioned above. In the vocal area there is considerably more variety and the style is much more fragmented. On one side it is fun, lots of variety is always fun, but on this album there is too much of it, it makes it too inconsistent and it is not clear to me what the band wants exactly. To me it is not clear what the act wants in terms of Atmosphere. With comparable bands you run into a lot of different styles, but the atmosphere and the overall picture is usually present or otherwise there is a style that always dominates. That is not the case on 'Habitat'. That is caused as said by the styles that are used interchangeably. We hear (sometimes) poor clear vocals, black, choirs, grunts and female vocals. The music always adapts to the vocals because of which it sometimes seems as if you are listening to three different bands. However, they also add a playful use of keyboard (organs, piano) and that gives the album a cheerful and accessible sound. Sometimes I really think of the better examples of Dutch music from the past like Boudewijn de Groot. The sound is simple but good. The nine tracks take you on a journey through the past of the Veluwe among others, and I must say that there are times when I am engulfed in the stories.
Best songs are 'Woudakoestiek', '1911'and 'O Patroness’. The first two have the best tunes and the third has the finest guitars. ‘Foreest In Tweelicht’ is a good song as well, it is the most ‘metal’ of the songs.
It is not a competition of the aforementioned bands or other known acts in this genre, this album sounds too simple and to incoherent. The vocals need improvement as well. But I think that there is much more to enjoy in the future because these guys are not without talent.