Wandering across different genres and inspirations, this Czech Progressive Black Metal entity offer in their ninth studio album a stunning view of the inhospitable beauty of the White Carpathians.
Having started up in 2003 as a Pagan Black Metal band, Brno, Czech Republic-based Progressive Black Metal entity Heiden wanders across different genres and inspirations, returning now in 2022 to a Dark Metal sound with their newborn opus entitled Andzjel, or “angel” in English, their ninth studio album expanding the perspectives of their audience base through dark, elegant and atmospherically authentic music. Mixed and mastered by Karl Daniel Lidén at Tri-Lamb Studio, and displaying a classy artwork taken from the personal collection of inhabitants of the Žítková village and repainted by Luděk Řezáč, Andzjel presents seven songs thematically set in the inhospitable beauty of the White Carpathians, offering an insight into the souls of the local people, sharing the soil, blood, healing and knowledge passed down through generations, showcasing not only the talent but also the deep connection the band comprised of vocalist, guitarist and bassist Kverd, guitarist Tom, keyboardist Werlinga and drummer Einsk have with their homeland.
The strident guitars by Kverd and Tom ignite the imposing opening tune Nevěřím těm očím (“I can’t believe those eyes” from Czech), blending elements from Progressive and Symphonic Black Metal and, consequently, generating a Stygian atmosphere perfect for the cryptic gnarls by Kverd; and switching gears to a more melodic and melancholic vibe we’re treated to V hodině vlka (“in the hour of the wolf”), getting closer to modern-day Post-Metal while Einsk does a beautiful job with his minimalist beats and Werlinga’s keys embellish the airwaves in great fashion. Continuing to showcase their more Jazz-ish side, Musím ti tolik říct (“I have so much to tell you”) brings to our ears another ass-kicking round of keys by Werlinga accompanied by the classy guitars by Kverd and Tom, followed by Září (“September”), as wicked and obscure as its predecessors, sounding very detailed and enfolding from the very first second with Eisnk alternating between shee violence and more intimate, rhythmic beats, resulting in a lecture in Post-Metal infused with tons of progressiveness.
Sviť, měsíčku, jasno, an adaptation of a Moravian folklore song from the Kopanice region that means “shine, moon, clear”, brings forward two and a half minutes of experimentations and eerie sounds, which could have been extended to something more complete instead of working as just an interlude, though, whereas Běsů se nezbavíš, or “you can’t get rid of demons”, is another solid hybrid of Progressive Metal and Post-Rock and Metal, at the same time soothing your soul before smashing you with a visceral sonic attack led by the devilish vocals by Kverd. Lastly, the quartet will captivate our senses once again in Patřím sem (“I belong here”), with Werlinga and Eisnk being in absolute sync with their respective keys and beats, not to mention how caustic the guitars by Kverd and Tom sound, consequently putting a dark and climatic ending to the album.
If you want to know more about Heiden, get in touch with the band and show them all your support, you can start following them on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel and stream their unique creations on Spotify, and above all that, purchase a copy of Andzjel from their own BandCamp page or webstore, or simply click HERE to get fully immersed in the obscure realm of Heiden. The phenomenon of the Žítková goddesses, which the postwar totalitarian regime permanently eradicated, is still present in Andzjel, inviting us all to learn more about the history of the Czech Republic while enjoying the first-class experimentations by those four skillful musicians, proving the Czech underground scene is and will always be a fantastic source of great music.
Best moments of the album: V hodině vlka, Září and Běsů se nezbavíš.
Worst moments of the album: Sviť, měsíčku, jasno.
Released in 2022 Magick Disk Musick
1. Nevěřím těm očím 5:57
2. V hodině vlka 5:37
3. Musím ti tolik říct 4:18
4. Září 5:34
5. Sviť, měsíčku, jasno 2:25
6. Běsů se nezbavíš 3:51
7. Patřím sem 5:07
Kverd – vocals, guitars, bass
Tom – guitars
Werlinga – keyboards
Einsk – drums