Have you ever been to a show and immediately thought – ‘damn, I wish I’d also been here the first night’? Those were my thoughts of near-instantaneous regret when I realized, standing in the photo bit for Heilung‘s second NYC “ritual,” that this was not going to be like every other concert that’s come before.
With core members hailing from Germany, Denmark and Norway, Heilung can be described as experimental neo-pagan folk, but that’s where the simple descriptions stop. Heilung is more than just a Nordic metal band, they are, for all intents and purposes, a fully immersive experience. Self-described as “amplified history,” Heilung evokes sounds and energies from Bronze, Iron and Viking Ages with the use of historically accurate dress, instruments and lyrics.
Overall, the band is stunning. Heilung has crafted their performance into something completely absorbing – ritualistic sure, but also intense, immersive and judging by the reaction of many fans packing Webster Hall to capacity on Wednesday night, emotional. The vocals are haunting, the shamanic drums elevating, the battle cries liberating. And true to their name (heilung means healing in German), I could hear numerous fans exhale in relief and comment how the night had been a needed release.
Given the success of this short, but incredibly sweet, first run through the US, I can only hope that Heilung return to our shores in the near future.
In the meanwhile, check out some photos from Wednesday night’s show below. And scroll further down to see Heilung’s 2017 full performance Lifa on their YT channel.