Well if you are from a country where your ancestors were or had to deal with the Vikings then you can call your music Viking metal and get it over with. On the other hand now if your ancestors were not Vikings or you draw inspiration from other ancient and medieval tribes then you can call the sound Pagan metal. It doesn’t really matter how you call your sound as long as it is good. HEATHEN FORAY from Austria belong to the Pagan metal sound and “Into Battle” is their new release.
THE COVER: When you name your album “Into Battle” then you definitely need to have a cover that will fit to that description and HEATHEN FORAY surely have one. On the cover you can see a medieval warrior standing on a rocky ground (probably the peak of a mountain) holding on his right hand a sword and on his left a red flag. Behind him you can also see some eagles flying. Yep the cover surely looks epic.
MUSICAL STYLE: I think that you can name the sound of HEATHEN FORAY either pagan or Viking metal, it doesn’t really matter since both genres are almost identical (they diverse only in the lyrical themes). The basis of HEATHENS FORAY’s sound is of course melodic death and sometimes black metal, but the interesting thing with these guys is that they dare to enrich their sound with some power metal touches too in the Teutonic power metal way.
COMPOSITIONS: This is the fourth studio album of HEATHENS FORAY and their first in Massacre Records. The 8 songs that are included here are melodic and yet heavy and as I mentioned above they sound like a mixture between melodic death and power metal. I think that bands like AMON AMARTH, SUIDAKRA and BLIND GUARDIAN are close to the musical philosophy of HEATHEN FORAY.
CONCLUSION: HEATHEN FORAY might have all these elements that categorize their sound as the Pagan/Viking metal and that is not bad at all, but they also mix in their sound power metal influences and this makes the album likeable even to people who are into more melodic metal genres and yet are thirsty for battle.