Heidenfest 2011

11th October 2011 Kentish Town HMV Forum

 Review by Jo Blackened

Photography by Michelle Murphy


Heidenfest is an annual touring Folk Metal festival and we were happy to have the opportunity to be here to see what all the excitement was about in the UK, with bands; Finntroll / Turisas / Alestorm / Arkona / Trollfest and Skálmöld lined up it is no surprise this is such a great anticipated tour!

Arkona were unable to play tonight, due to visa probs which left some fans disappointed but we arrived to a packed out venue just in time to catch Alestorm on stage!

Alestorm; True Scottish Pirate Metal!

Forming in only 2006 it is no surprise they soon gained a cult following and soon signed to Napalm Records!

Even with a line-up change these guys have never stopped and this is a band with a great fan base, who clearly are welcome in a folk metal fest!

These guys have such great energy and really fun to watch live with many fans wearing pirate outfits, which is pretty standard at their gigs!

Christopher Bowes [Vocals] is on great form keeping the crowd entertained with most fans singing along to the lyrics!


Alestorm have released the album ‘Back Through Time’this year, so if you would like some ‘good aye m’hearties pirate fun’ with your metal, then definitely check these guys out!

Next on tonight are Finntroll!

Finntroll are actually headlining the rest of the tour but aren’t tonight in London, but they still manage to put on a great performance.

These guys are great mixing Folk Metal aswell as Black Metal, given them an awesome sound!

Signed to Century Media, these guys know how to put on an awesome show and are definitely a band that need to be seen live!


Filling the stage with their many members; Vreth [Vocals] Routa [Guitars] Skrymer  [Guitars] Trollhorn [Keyboards, Guitar] Virta [Keyboards] Tundra [Bass] and

Beast Dominator on Drums!

Releasing the album ‘Nifelvind’ last year they played tracks from their latest albums and kept the crowd energetic throughout their set, but with most of their tracks sung in Swedish, it made it hard to sing along!

Finntroll were awesome tonight and no surprise seeing 2011 has been a great year for them!
















Headlining tonight are Turisas!

The crowd go mad for Turisas, even before they come on to the stage!

With dimmed lights and smoke coming from the stage it does set the perfect atmosphere and you can see the all the members coming on stage just as excited as the crowd!

Turisas are Finnish folk metal band from Hämeenlinna., founded back in 1997 by Mathias Nygård and Jussi Wickström and named after an ancient Finnish God of war, the band are signed to Century Media Records!

Having elements of power and symphonic metal in their tracks along with frequent harsh vocals from Mathias Nygard, these guys know how to put on an amazing show, with impressive use of guitars from Jussi Wickström and having Olli Vänskä on electric violin with other band members Robert Engstrand – Keyboards, Tude Lehtonen – Drums and Jukka-Pekka Miettinen on Bass, these guys sound amazing live.

With their latest album ‘Stand Up And Fight’ released and receiving great reviews Turisas really are such a great band and seem more popular in the UK than anywhere else and the crowd love them, with many fans dressed up and wearing the face make-up!

Starting their set off with The March of the Varangian Guard, the energy just explodes, with now not just pirate props, but plastic swords and shields are being held high!

These bands are known for having their fans ‘dress to impress’ and you will always see pirate flags, plastic axes and the feel you’re about to go into battle immersing from the crowd!

Their set didn’t seem that long for a headlining band, but seeing as Heidenfest has been going for most of the day I think the standing fans were ready to go and recover from all the fun that was had here tonight!

Turisas have now been announced to take part in tours in Mexico/ North America/ Canada with Cradle of Filth, with other supporting bands being Nachtmystium and Daniel Lioneye at the end of January 2011 and in Europe with Die Apokalyptischen awell as coming back to the UK with Crimfall as the supporting band, so if you were unlucky to have missed this tour, be sure to catch them next year!

Here’s hoping Heidenfest will be back in the UK for 2012, with another great line-up!

Set List:


One more

Great Escape

Stand Up And Fight

Sahti Waari




Battle Metal

End Of An Empire


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