The fourth installment of Heathen Crusade Metalfest, a much-anticipated Midwestern pagan/Viking metal festival, has been canceled amidst myriad logistical and possibly financial issues. Organizers of the much-anticipated festival made an official statement this afternoon:
[Due] to unforeseen issues on both sides, the Heathen Crusade Metalfest is canceled. We are extremely sorry for any in convinces this may have caused. For those who have purchased tickets, please email email@example.com or log into the vitaltickets.com website and cancel your order. We wish you all the best and all the bands that were supposed to be on the bill. For those who already bought tickets, I will be sending out CDs that we have received from labels and bands personally. Again if you have any questions for me personally you may email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It would seem that Waylander’s abrupt cancelation was the straw that broke the festival’s back. The Irish pagan metal band was to fill in for Einherjer, one of the headliners, but were forced to pull out due to lack of “repeatedly promised but never provided” travel funding. As it turns out, Einherjer canceled for the exact same reason. While Winterhymn withdrew from the festival to audition new band members and work on new material, Romanian band Ashaena cited visa trouble in their decision to cancel as well.
What do you think is going on here? Could this be the end of the Heathen Crusade Metalfest altogether?
As far as folk metal festivals go, Heathen Crusade Fest is by far the best North America will ever see and its upcoming roster just got even better. Hail Of The Weekers Winterhymn, Celtic thrash band Battlesoul and Canadian acoustic folk metal act SIG:AR:TYR are confirmed for Heathen Crusade 2013, which will take place on March 9 in St. Paul, MN. As if those three bands aren’t reason enough to attend the festival, Einherjer — yes, THAT Einherjer — will make their first live appearance in over a decade at this highly anticipated festival. Here’s the current lineup so far:
Being an American folk metal fan is pretty rough. Every year, you wait anxiously to see some 5-band combination of your favorites (which somehow never includes your FAVORITE favorites — *cough* Týr *cough*) to tour the US. Sometimes they don’t come to your city, and sometimes they don’t come at all. Thankfully, a few kind American folks have taken matters into their own hands and started an awesome band called Winterhymn.
Founded in 2010 by rhythm guitarist/vocalist Ulfr and lead guitarist/vocalist Draug, Winterhymn started with the intent to expand on the already on-the-rise American folk metal scene. The usual suspects (keyboards and violin) joined some time later, and the lineup was rounded out with bass and drums shortly thereafter. In October 2011, under their own management and without a record label, they released Songs For The Slain through iTunes and Amazon.
I heard this band for the first time in Turntable’s Metal Gods room, and they immediately reminded me of Eluveitie with a little added whimsy. Umbriel uses her violin sparingly (thank god!) and while none of the folk elements get overly technical or manic, the riffs are still interesting and fun. You can listen to many of the songs on their debut album in the Music section of their official website, but below is the first track I ever heard by them. It’s a good one, so check it out!