“Heathenheart” is the second album from Canada’s Hexenklad (ft. members of SIG:AR:TYR, Eclipse Eternal, Pagan Ritual), and it shows a notable evolution over 2017’s “Spirit of the Stone”. This is primarily due to an almost complete lineup change wherein all the members had an active part in composing the music. Vocalist Timothy Johnston explains further:
“This album was written very differently than the first album which was mostly written by Hexenklad’s founder Michael Grund. It was very organic and the songs just grew together. Guitar parts were written first by both Michael and John with a few ideas put in by myself. Then drums were added by Andrew. Once those were all down and arranged, and then rearranged until everything flowed and made sense, then I let the melodies tell me what the songs were about and wrote the lyrics. Once we had the guitars, drums and vocal parts recorded, then the keyboards and bass were added.”
Johnston continues to explain that it was not difficult to pick the tracks that would be used as they were the ones that spoke to them immediately. Often, they would go through many alterations before being used, but they never abandoned a song that spoke to us.
The 13 track album has something for everyone, from the chilling, black metal “Cold Beauty of Winter”, to the mid-tempo headbanger “Dark Moon in Capricorn”, to the instrumental ”A Forest of Dead Trees” to the acoustic “We Raise a Horn”. This variance makes Hexenklad shine, their versatility is a true display of their talent and passion.
Hexenklad has a very distinct chemistry which is only amplified by years of experience in music. Almost everyone in the band comes from another band in the Ontario metal scene including Eclipse Eternal, Pagan Ritual, Battlesoul and Of Hatred Spawn. The album also features several local guests including Emmanuel “Audeath” Audet (Black Empire/Winterfog); Nick Sauter (Treats for Addicts) and Alex Chalmers.
Those who enjoy both folk and black metal, who are looking for something unique and have an open mind, will find much in this album, especially those interested in Insomnium, Windir and Moonsorrow.