Prog/folk metal project Alvenrad is the brainchild of Dutchmen Mark Kwint (vocals, guitars) and Jasper Strik (keyboards, programming). Their debut album, entitled “Habitat”, is about to be released via TrollMusic.
“Habitat” is a musical celebration of the Veluwe region in the broadest sense of the word. This is not your typical prankster folk metal fair, these guys are sincere in what they’re are singing about. This authenticity is exactly what sets them apart from many of their peers. They’re not afraid to look beyond the genre boundaries either.
When you listen closely to tracks like ‘Woudakoestiek’, ‘1911’ and ‘Foreest In Tweelicht’ you’ll hear a rich plethora of different influences, ranging from (older) Borknagar and Vintersorg to Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull and Uriah Heep. There are also some guest musicians on “Habitat”, including Koen de Graaf (ex Burning Hatred) and Erik Sprooten (Ancient Rites), who all add their individual flavour to the mix.
Although “Habitat” is full to the brim with great musical ideas it’s also noticeable that Alvenrad hasn’t entirely outgrown its infant stages yet. Some of the clean vocal parts are somewhat sung out of key and on other tracks Mark Kwint is really stretching his vocal chords to their absolute limit. The instrumental parts could have been played a tad tighter here and there as well.
When you’re looking for something fresh and original within the folk metal genre, the new Alvenrad album is the one to go for. “Habitat” is not without its mistakes, but considering the potential shown here, the hype surrounding this project is entirely justified.