Review: Heilung ‘Drif’

Formed in 2014, Heilung, Danish for ‘Healing’, has already released two studio records, Ofnir and Futha, and one of the best live albums in existence, Lifa. Their performances, both on stage and on record, are incredibly spiritual experiences, as their music has the ability to conjure forth a physical reaction from the listener.

Heilung 'Drif'

Consisting of a trio of Danish, German, and Norwegian musicians, Heilung have created a sound that they refer to as ‘Amplified History’. Their new album, Drif, continues that tradition of excellence that was started on their first two records and will be released on August 19th via Season Of Mist.

The band has said that Drif ‘is unlike previous offerings that centered around prehistoric northern Europe, and will explore other great rudimentary civilizations outside of Europe’. ‘All the songs on ‘Drif’ have their own stories,’ says Heilung throat singer, Kai Uwe Faust. ‘Each has its place and sense of belonging, with inspiration not only from Northern Europe, but from the ancient great civilizations’.

The first three tracks on Drif are also the first three singles released. Asja, Anoana, and Tenet represent the best elements of the sounds of Heilung, opening the album up with everything fans have waited to hear. 

Asja is easily my favorite of the singles, and that is due to the throat singing of Kai Uwe Faust. The deep tones and rhythmic cadence of his vocals resonate within my chest, creating waves of primal feelings, feelings that were buried by the societal standards that have all but eradicated our connection to our own being, and to the beauty around us.

Between the retelling of historical events and the power of their music, Heilung seems to be at the top of their game…

The same could be said of Buslas Bann, which also features this incredible vocal style. There’s just something about throat singing that captures the imagination, taking the listener out of their homeland, and dropping them into a place and time that is far beyond our own.

Anoana is beauty that reaches the highest of levels, heavily relying on the vocal stylings of Maria Franz, whose voice is as beautiful as any that I’ve ever heard. I’m transfixed by her vocal tones as she sings, ‘Aelwao ano ana tuwa tuwa. Tau liu ano ana tuwa tuwa’. The music is mellow, stripped down to only the most necessary instruments needed to create an ambient atmosphere that will fill your soul with its elegance.

Keltentrauer, which translates to ‘Celtic Mourning’, is a spoken word piece that is done entirely in the German language. I don’t speak German, but based on how the lyrics are performed, this is the telling of a story that ends in death and grief.

It seems that this track is divided into three sections, with the words building in intensity, and then slowly losing it as the story reaches its end. This is one of the coolest spoken word tracks since Tool’s Die Eirer Von Satan, and that’s despite my not knowing the background of the story that influenced the song.

After listening to this album, I can safely say that it is Heilung‘s best offering to date. Between the retelling of historical events and the power of their music, Heilung seems to be at the top of their game, a fact that is easily heard across the entire record. So, get out there and check out the available singles, and the rest of the album as it’s released today. Enjoy!!!

Label: Season Of Mist
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Tom Hanno