Demo:listen: Hedenvandret

Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, black, doom, sludge, grind, thrash, heavy, speed, progressive, stoner, retro, post-, punk-, -core, etc. we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen we’re lured off the beaten path and led deep into the dark woods by Norway’s Hedenvandret.

“Who we are is unimportant,” says the nameless vocalist of Hedenvandret, the most haunted black metal act to come out of Norway in some time. “We all play in other (non-black metal) bands, and . . . I wanted Hedenvandret to stand on its own feet. And so it does.”

Hedenvandret’s debut, Første Del—roughly “part one” in Norwegian—, is the work of three individuals, but once it was only a concept of their vocalist. “The idea of Hedenvandret had been lurking in my head for a long, long time,” says he. “But I was very unsure how I could get my plans, feelings, and thoughts out in real life, as I don’t play any instruments. Some events triggered me to open up and explain it to one of my bandmates, he understood and got on board. We had some discussions, and we decided to ask the drummer of our other band to join.”

Thus Hedenvandret was born . . .

“The whole concept of . . . Hedenvandret is based around the Black Plague,” Hedenvandret’s vocalist explains. “We follow a man living in Norway when the plague was sweeping across Europe. He is an anti-religious man, but his mother has started to believe in the new, Christian god, who has been imported to the country. She gets the plague from the churchgoers, and dies. And he is left with a lot of questions, anger, hatred and confusion.”

Even without knowing the concept behind Hedenvandret you’d have to be deaf not to pick up on the raw grief, the existential forfeit of these seven tracks. Throught the seven tracks that make up Første Del there is a palpable sense of loss and spiritual exile. You can hear it in the vocalist’s Burzum-esque, not-so-feeble screams. You can hear it in the plaintive melodies of the riffs, as they fade in and ebb away.

By the fifth song, “Hun Vandret Heden,” the sadness becomes anger, and the riffs stomp and crash to follow suit. But don’t be surprised when Hedenvandret reprise the very first riff on their demo and you get goosebumps. Also, what do you think it means that Første Del ends with a man coughing? Could it be that the album’s hero has caught the Black Death, too? Only time will tell. According to their frontman, Hedenvandret are already at work on “Andre del” (another part). Which he expects will be released “before we enter 2018.”

Hedenvandret play emotionally-charged, ingeniously-composed, uniquely anti-Christian black metal, and they’re from Norway. Unborn Productions released Første Del on cassette back in January, and somehow copies remain available. So, what are you waiting for?

You heard Hedenvandret first here on Demo:listen. Check this space next and every Friday for more promising new metal.