The Passage is the newest release from the band Heathen Foray. Combining traditional folk music with conventional black metal, Heathen Foray has put together a very interesting disc. Traditional folk music serves as the backdrop for an eerily raspy, and unsettling vocal track that gives this disc a haunting black metal feel. It took me a bit of getting used to, but once I began to accustom myself to these vocals I actually began to sort of dig them.

While The Passage is deeply rooted in black metal, the heavy yet melodic guitar pieces lend themselves more toward the heavy metal, head banging crowd and should appeal to a wide variety of extreme music fans. All of the tunes on this disc are quite complex in detail and the playing is really good.

I was particularly fond of the opening track, “Fading Tree.” This tune pretty much sets the pace for the rest of the disc. It chugs along in an upbeat fashion and contains all of the previously mentioned attributes. Other songs worth mentioning are “Winterking” and “Theatre Of Battle” both of which are really good tracks and withstood repeated listening.

I guess the reason I find this disc so interesting is that the musicianship is top notch and the songs are very unpredictable; one moment an accordion is playing, the next a melodic guitar part or even a throaty scream.

At the end of the day I can say with all honesty that The Passage is worth checking out. While it may be a little bit outside of the box I feel what Heathen Foray have created here is rather good. Give this one a shot.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. Fading Tree
02. Northstar
03. Winterking
04. Fortress Of Faith
05. Chants
06. Draon’s Eyes
07. Ancient Secrets
08. Wolkenbruch
09. Theatre Of Battle
10. Wilderness Lore

Run Time: 43:30
Release Date: 04.24.2009