York Viking Festival 2013 @ Fibbers, York
|This is the second year that the annual York Viking Festival has had some metal thrown in courtesy of Asgard Promotions. They even arranged a history/music lecture, courtesy of Heidevolk at York University the night before. It gave interesting insight into the historical eras the band take inspiration from and how it feeds into their music. Tonight, we get the chance to see and hear how it plays out in front of a crowd of fun-hungry metalheads and mead-filled deviants.
A lot of the fans are made up of the usual gig crew and Viking re-enactors, ready to let loose after a hard day entertaining the crowds! York’s own Cryptic Age open tonight’s show. They do fall under the folk metal banner but have a touch of progressive psychedelic rock about them at times, helped by the haunting, almost operatic, female vocals. They still pack a punch musically and it is a little bit off-the-wall, which makes for interesting listening. Great to see a pretty unique band just starting to get some attention!
Celtachor hail from the Emerald Isle and bring a heavier sound to the night’s proceedings. They have more of a mix of black and folk metal and they burst into a set of punchy guitar riffs and harsh vocals. They even bring out the Irish Whistle here and there, which defiantly puts the Irish stamp on their sound and works as a great contrast to the heavier stuff. A really strong performance from these guys and a lot of new fans made for sure!
Heidevolk are pretty much the only folk metal band to come out of the Netherlands so tonight’s trend for unique-sounding bands continues, and by ‘eck (as they say up North) does it continue with style!
Having two vocalists works superbly, especially as they perfectly replicate the harmonies they create on their recordings. They are quite simply faultless and a ball of rabid energy let loose onstage that filters out into the crowd in droves. ‘Nehalennia’ is one of the expected highlights of many, really striking the right balance of power and grandeur that this band can deliver! They put on such a great show and seem to be having a whale of a time doing it too, which, in turn, creates a really positive vibe to the already geared-up patrons!
The party continues long into the early hours as performers and patrons hit the city’s pubs and bars to celebrate a fantastic night’s entertainment! A thoroughly entertaining night comes to a close. Heidevolk play Hammerfest later this year. A little advice for those attending the festival in North Wales – miss them and you’ll be missing out.
Reviewed by Claudia Glazzard