Vera : Few years ago a Dutch band caught our attention with the debut album ‘Habitat’ and the video clip for ‘Woudakoestiek’. At that time the line-up used to be a duo, existing of Mark Kwint (vocals, guitar, flute) and keyboard wizard Jasper Strik. Their first live gig ever, with drummer Ingmar Regeling and bassist Thijs Kwint took place at the eve of Prophecy Fest 2016. Since then, the band has turned into a four-piece and in this constellation they also recorded the sophomore album ‘Heer’. Although Alvenrad belongs to the folkloristic outfits of the Lowlands, they occupy a very special place in this genre. A tendency to go all the way with vintage keyboards, flute and occasionally grunts gave them a signature sound from the very beginning. Just organize a gathering of Jethro Tull, Borknagar and Skyclad at the local bar and this extraordinary brew will come out.
On this second album – sung in their vernacular language with earthly as well as mythological topics included and the ancient Icelandic poem ‘Skímismál’ as main source of inspiration – they created a work that breathes freedom of style and vintage fascination more than ever. We explain that with few examples. The omnipresent use of Hammond, Mellotron and piano stands for a far-reaching affinity with Uriah Heep and bands of that ilk. We don’t think about their genre mates Heidevolk, but sometimes it goes more in the vein of the occult ‘Nacht En Ontij’ from Boudewijn De Groot (‘De Herder’ and the approach of runes in ‘Fallisch’). The affinity with nature prevails in everything they do and finds its culmination point in the sensitive ‘De Groene Tempel’. A feeling of otherworldly atmospheres takes hold of you (in positive sense). Only in ‘De Raven Wodans’ a semblance of black metal happens to be noticeable with some proper screams, for the rest vocals are clean and proper (ancient) Dutch. As bonus you can hear the heaviest song of the previous album, ‘Foreest In Tweelicht’ in a new version in a production of Markus Stock (Empyrium, The Vision Bleak) at Studio E. Under his talented guidance, ‘Heer’ was recorded. Those who thought that folk metal turned into a genre without challenges, should put on his/her headphones and enter this parallel world of Alvenrad for 45 minutes long. Recommended check-out!