Track By Tracks: Hexenklad - Heathenheart (2021)

1. Heathenheart:

A Heathen, Folk Metal, Melody-heavy, upbeat, Headbanging anthem for the Heathen-Hearted. A song about being united, though physically distant. We are all lone wolves yet the pack is calling.

2. Cold Beauty of Winter:

This is probably the most Black Metal song on the album. It is more raw and heavy than most of the rest of the album. It is a song about being in a storm in Winter, enraptured by its beauty, and communing with our ancestors.

3. Huginn and Muninn:

There is a real mix of Folk and Black Metal melodies in this one. It’s got a good pace and a rawness, yet the choruses bring it back to the Folk side. The lyrics are mostly written in Kenning and are about Odin’s Raven’s—about what they are, what they represent and why that matters. When I first heard the melodies, it made me think of flying over the world and looking down and seeing how everything was made small and how, to be the one looking down, everyone below would suddenly look like one folk, one people, and that in order to be recognized in the masses, one’s deeds must indeed be great and worthy and like a beacon in the dark. There’s also a theme of what it would be like to lose the integral component of yourself that seeks out new experiences and knowledge and wisdom.

4. Dark Moon in Capricorn:

This is a mid-tempo headbanger with more clean singing than most of the others. The lyrics are by Michael on this one and he has chosen to keep their meaning personal.

5. Rootbound:

This is a pretty fast, dynamic song. There are some real Folky melodies in the choruses and earlier in the song, but the song is definitely on the darker, more Black Metal spectrum, especially the end, which gets raw and chaotic. The lyrics are focused on how we are an echo of our ancestors’ deeds and how we will be an echo of this generation’s deeds, and that we must be careful how we act as the ripples of our actions can create great and terrible consequences. Then I curse my enemies. Because that’s what I do.

6. The Raven Returns to the Knoll:

This is probably the most upbeat, positive song on the album (aside from We Raise a Horn). It is a song about a place called Raven’s Knoll, where I, and now most of the band, go camping. There is a festival that happens there that is a multi-faith gathering with a large Pagan/Heathen contingent where we all get together and create a community for a week or two and see what could be, rather than what is. The song is about escaping the concrete coffin we all live in, aka the city, and finding/searching for something better.

7. A Thousand Paths to Wisdom:

This is the fastest song on the album. It’s a real headbanger and the end is epic (if I do say so myself). The lyrics are about escaping who we are, who we don’t want to be, and finding something better. It is also about how I dislike preaching/preachers, so I will not tell you what path you should be on, only that there are many paths to wisdom and perhaps there is a better path for you, if the path you are on isn’t taking you in the direction you want to be going. I wrote the lyrics while on a trip to Alaska and walking through the mountains and across glaciers really gave me a different perspective on life and these lyrics reflect that.

8. Olde Gods Awaken:

This is another more mid-paced epic song. The lyrics are by Michael and again, he has chosen to keep their meaning personal.

9. Beware the Outstretched Hand:

This is an acoustic song. Definitely the darkest song on the album, to me. It is very personal. It is about betrayal. About showing someone the beast that the lives within, that we all keep caged up, that animal part of us that is in fact who we really are but can’t show, and it's about being betrayed by that person. The wound can be heard in this song. 

10. A Forest of Dead Trees:

This is an instrumental. A really unique, oddball song that just flows and bounces around and really holds the attention, without the need for lyrics.

11. Upon the Wings of Valkyries:

This song has a long, mostly acoustic intro before becoming really intense and fast. It has a bit of everything in here. It’s got marches, Black Metal riffs, Folk Metal riffs, headbanging parts and some really dark doomy acoustics at the beginning and ending. The lyrics were written with two of my Veteran friends in mind, as well as an old friend of mine who wanted very much to learn to fight but found it very hard to find anyone who would train her. The song tells the story of a soldier, dying on a battlefield, and how he is taken to Valhalla where his honoured ancestors wait for him with pride. His daughter is born after he dies and hard it is very hard for her growing up. She learns on her own to become a warrior like he was and, in the end, hears the drums of war calling her, like he did. It is a song for those who fought, who fight and those who wish to but are held back, and how I support them. It is a story, but it is also personal and meaningful, and I think that comes across in the song. 

12. A Moment of Silence:

This is literally a moment of silence for those who have fallen. In Canada, we, on Remembrance Day, have a moment of silence for those who have fallen and after the previous song we thought it fitting. 

13. We Raise a Horn:

This is an acoustic upbeat song. Many years ago, I wanted to write a ritual for Yule. The lyrics of this song come from that ritual. It is basically what I wish for all those who listen to this album. For all those who raise a horn with me.

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