Vetrar Draugurinn – Hinterlands Album Review

Vetrar Draugurinn – Hinterlands

Album Review By Rainer Kerber

If you look at the lineup of Vetrar Draugurinn, you will find many familiar names. I recently saw singer Marjan Welman with Autumn live. And guitarist Eric Hazebroek played earlier at Stream Of Passion and has recently started with some friends the project Pilgrimage. Second guitarist Thomas Cochrane is still active at Hologram Earth. At Vetrar Draugurinn they live out their passion for Doom Metal. The name of the band sounds as if it were borrowed from the High-Valyrian (Game Of Thrones), but “Vetrar Draugurinn” comes from Icelandic and means Winter Ghosts. The band was founded in 2013. Four years later, the debut EP “I” was released. It took another three years until the first full-length album was in the record shops. So, let’s listen in, in the album of the Dutch.

Even with the first notes of the title song “Hinterlands” is clear. The Dutch do not set a speed record. Worn melodies, dark riffs, oppressive bass sounds and subtle drumming are the trademark of the band. And singer Marjan Welman refines the songs with the dark timbre of her voice. “I Am” rocks a bit more. But this mid-tempo song is over long distances marked by quiet, almost contemplative acting melody. Can there ever be a ballad on a quiet, almost majestic album? Yes. With “Second” Vetrar Draugurinn provide goosebumps atmosphere. Subtle, acoustic guitars and quiet vocals later turn into a great power ballad. After the something more rocking “The Wolves At Our Door”, with “Mother of Northern Skies” a song follows, that certainly have hit potential. This almost hymn-sounding song is one of the highlights of the album for me. With “Forever Locked Within” balladesk sounds will be back, acoustic guitars and cello make for a lot of contemplation. In the middle section you will hear a very melodic guitar solo. “The Narrow Path” begins and ends with rhythmic drums. And they go through the entire song. The drums are clearly the dominating instrument here. “Bleak Earth” then rocks again. With “Twelfth Night”, the album then ends contemplative. After a great guitar solo, the sound gadgets of the plucked, echoed acoustic guitars once again ensure that the hair on the hackles rises.

With “Hinterlands” close to Vetrar Draugurinn a gap that was torn by inactivity of other bands of this genre (Tristania, Draconian, Weeping Silence, …). On “Hinterlands” you can hear eleven Gothic Doom songs with an addictive factor. The Dutch have made an excellent debut album. I am already looking forward to the band’s appearance at the FemME 2019 in the Netherlands.

Vetrar Draugurinn – Hinterlands (Official Lyric Video):


Marjan Welman – Vocals
Eric Hazebroek – Guitars
Thomas Cochrane – Guitars
Arjan Heijden – Bass
Jim van de Kerkhof – Drums

Label: Painted Bass Records

Out: March 28th, 2019

Playing time: 59:46

Track list:

  • Hinterlands
  • I Am
  • Second
  • The Wolves At Our Door
  • Mother Of Northern Skies
  • Death Will Come For Us
  • Forever Locked Within
  • The Narrow Path
  • Wanderer
  • Bleak Earth
  • Twelfth Night

Rating : 8.5/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber