Formed in 2011 under the helm of founding members Joris and Niels, :Nodfyr: is a band with a foundation of strong heathen roots and an unconditional love for their homeland of Gelderland, Netherlands. The band name comes from a pagan Germanic practice of fire-making that dates back to the 8th century. Niels ultimately stepped away from :Nodfyr: in 2014 leaving a void in the structure of the band. Joris later recruited Jasper and Mark to join the ranks in 2015, completing the current lineup. Though the band has been relatively quiet over the years, only releasing one EP, In een adere tijd, in 2017, :Nodfyr: has been hard at work fine-tuning the tracks for their upcoming album, Eigenheid. The new album is set to be released this Friday, March 5th, via Ván Records.
Composed of 7 tracks, Eigenheid, (which in Dutch translates to “identity”) takes the listener on a musical journey using ancient history and folklore to help uncover what has molded us to become who we are. The album begins with the opening track “Mijn oude volk” (My Ancient People). Immediately, ethereal synthesized sounds capture your imagination and spark visions of the past and of those who inhabited these lands before us. The musical composition on Eigenheid tells just as much of a story as the lyrical content. The lyrics and music are interwoven seamlessly throughout the album. Adding another layer to the immense atmosphere of Eigenheid is the ghostly, operatic vocal delivery from vocalist Joris. No stranger to the pagan metal scene, Joris’s voice can be heard on several other musical projects. Most notably, Joris can be recognized from being an ex-member of Heidevolk.
“Gelre, Gelre” was the first single that :Nodfyr: released from Eigenheid. Mid-tempo drumbeats layered with heavy rock riffs will have you putting this track on repeat. Well placed synthesized segments on Eigenheid set this release apart from other albums in the ever-growing pagan metal scene. The synth tones are vivid and unique. The mix on the album blends the instruments and vocals at just the right levels. The tones are heavy yet refined. Eigenheid creates a type of atmosphere that I can compare to a band like Summoning, which in my opinion, is a difficult task to achieve. “Wording” (Becoming) and “Bloedlijn” (Bloodline) are heavy hitters that include everything from doom grooves, blast beats and melodic solos. These tracks tell tales of personal development and are an adulation to direct ancestors. “Driekusman” is a traditional instrumental folk song that adds yet another element to the vast array of sounds on Eigenheid. “Zelf” (self) is one of the first :Nodfyr: songs ever composed and it seems to have aged like a fine wine. The grand finale of the album comes with the epic closing track, “Nagedachtenis” (Remembrance).
Eigenheid is a breath of fresh air for the pagan metal community. It displays a masterful balance of ancient folk sounds and heavy metal song structures that will keep your attention from start to finish. The members of :Nodfyr: are masters of their craft and that is fully on display with Eigenhied. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy of this album when it is released this Friday!
– Corey Smith