Heathen Foray

Titans of Neo-Pagan Metal, HEATHEN FORAY, released their sixth full-length studio album on April 7, […]
May 1, 2023
Heathen Foray - Oathbreaker album cover

Titans of Neo-Pagan Metal, HEATHEN FORAY, released their sixth full-length studio album on April 7, 2023 via Massacre Records. Formed in 2004, the Austrian Melodic Death Metal band is nearing their 20th year. They are still pissed off about the environment, capitalism, and organized religion; they still refuse to do cosplay; and they are still riff maniacs from another dimension. All that is to say, "Oathbreaker" is yet more evidence that HEATHEN FORAY has zero intention of slowing down or losing relevance.

"Oatbreaker" is eight tracks and 41 minutes of their signature combo of melodic riffs, soaring solos, and dirt-raw vocals. The lyrics are delivered in both German and English and while a good portion of the album focuses on bemoaning the evils of the modern world and its empty values, three of tracks take a break from the lectern: one to praise beer - "Allvoll" (trans: always full); one to raise an optimistic air for the future - "Covenant of Swords"; and one to share an emotive perspective of past lives, "Ahnenreih" (line of ancestors). This track is sung in the band's local dialect of Styrian-German. With "Ahnenreih" the band "collected stories and quotes from passed away relatives and combined them into a heart-wrenching song that shows us that we all stand on the shoulders of giants."

There are several massive tracks on this album including "Heimdalls Spross" a heavy-fisted anthem about environmental doom; "1000 Years of Human Flesh" with a very nasty break; and
"Allvoll" which is positively locomotive and, yes, it does indeed inspire the rapid emptying of large mugs of beer. I also really dug "Raiment" which "takes inspiration from Indian music and pairs it with an untypical funk groove." Promo material notes that this is the most experimental track on the album, and although it does wander a bit from the well-trodden path, it also features a riff at the 3:14 marks that is so mean that it almost demands its very own track.

All in all, "Oathbreaker" will catch the ear of Viking, Pagan, and even Folk metalheads but it will also appeal to Melodic and Groove metalists. In fact, unless you demand ultra lo-fi Black Metal or hyper smooth Symphonic, you're bound to appreciate this latest offering from HEATHEN FORAY.

8 / 10









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"Oathbreaker" Track-listing:

1. Oathbreaker
2. Leben
3. Ahnenreih
4. Heimdalls Spross
5. Allvoll
6. 1000 Years of Human Flesh
7.  Raiment
8. Covenant of Swords

Heathen Foray Lineup:

Markus Wildinger - Bass
Alex Wildinger - Guitars
Markus Kügerl - Drums
Jürgen Brüder - Guitars
Robert Schroll - Vocals

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