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Ancestors Blood / Heimdalls Wacht – Ancestors Blood / Heimdalls Wacht [Split]

ancestors blood / heimdalls wacht – ancestors blood / heimdalls wacht [split]


Aptly referred to as an essential Pagan Black Metal alliance, the split between Germany’s Heimdalls Wacht and Finland’s Ancestors Blood is a bittersweet one. Bittersweet in the sense that it served as the swansong for Ancestors Blood – plausibly one of Finland’s finest Pagan Black Metal outlets – while featuring some of their best material. The band contributed three tracks to the split, with Heimdalls Wacht finishing things off with two of theirs.

The release opens with Curse of the Evil Eyes from Ancestors Blood. While the title is admittedly a bit corny, the song itself certainly isn’t. Starting off with a rather playful intro, it evolves into the epicness that we know and expect from the band. The solo at the end of this track is gut-wrenching thanks to the pure sentiment that’s dripping from it. After dragging us through yet another excellent Pagan Black Metal hymn, Ancestors Blood treat us to the emotional ‘Ave Atque Vale’. “I salute you, and goodbye.” The track is overwrought with emotion in its simplicity and evokes the image of a wounded hero resting beneath a tree after a long battle, staring at the sun and smiling as he takes his last breath – knowing full well the legacy he leaves behind. Rest in power, Ancestors Blood!

The second half of the split features two tracks from Heimdalls Wacht, an interesting Pagan Black Metal band in their own right. The songs are somehow blueprints for ‘Mystagogie – Lieder voll Ewigkeit’, their 8th full-length that was released later in the same year. It’s evident that the band took their time to hone their craft. The songwriting is tighter and the melodic elements which have been present in the band’s music since their inception are more polished in these two tracks. It appears that this split is a testament to transitions, as it marks the final appearance of Skjeld on vocals for Heimdalls Wacht. And what an epic way to go out! For me, the Ancestors Blood portion of the split clearly outshines the second half from Heimdalls Wacht. Nevertheless, both bands have given it their all, and this release is definitely one that I’ll come back to every now and then.

Ancestors Blood

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