Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, June 14, 2019

Heilung - Futha

It's crazy to me to think that Heilung has only been going for five years. Their latest offering, Futha is only their second studio release but it has a layer of ambition and deepset atavistic magic that makes it a wholly unique creation. the counterpart to their more masculine debut, Ofnir, Futha is meant to reflect the feminine side of the band. Emphasizing audacious and immaculately put together vocal passages and compositions that pull from the Iron Age and even before, this record truly meets the bands goal of being the 'amplified history from early medieval northern Europe.'

Weighing in over sixty minutes, there is so much to sink your teeth into with Futha. It's a record that repeatedly pushes the band forward, be it through primeval screams, pagan chants or multilayered vocal performances. Here the band manages to balance beauty and ugliness all with a sensibility that is thousands of years old. These sentiments of dark and light translate surprisingly well to the modern ear. Decidedly pre-Christian in their approach it is strangely satisfying to get to spend some time with a band who are so disconnected from the modern reality. Instead this record is an opportunity to get in touch with tribal roots and a sense of truly pagan music history.

The only band Heilung could really be compared too is probably Wardruna, but they take their pagan sounds in a distinctly different direction. Though yes both bands place an emphasis on the traditional instruments and ancient music, Heilung does not need the grandiose compositions of Wardruna to mesmerize. Instead they are often at their finest when confronting some of their limitations. It makes for music comfortable in its own ugliness and audacious in its execution, the type of thing that reminds us that Europes history is a multifaceted puzzle to be examined now and forever.

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