Viking Metal started out by combining the epic energy of Black Metal with the mystical grace of Folk music. Enslaved is a band at the pinnacle of this heavy, Nordic sound. Starting out as teenagers, this Norweigian act has successively enhanced the Scandinavian metal scene for nearly thirty years. Their beginnings were more in the realm of the extreme, but over time Enslaved has not been afraid to dip into other genres like Prog Rock and Jazz. It’s encouraging to witness their ability to be undaunted by their explorations while still being true to their Viking roots. Their new fifteenth full-length album, Utgard (Nuclear Blast) verifies their astute ambition of experimentmentation and expression.
What is Viking Metal and what does it consist of? Is it having twenty-eight inches of hair, dressing up in armor and/or a kilt while wielding a sword? Is it dressing in all black while wearing Thor’s hammer pendants around the neck? Or perhaps it consists of including symbolic imagery such as runes and ships in the package art? More importantly, what is the formula to creating good Viking Metal? I ask these burning questions because ever since the Metal world included Norse mythology into its art, a majority of the bands at the forefront playing it are way too gimmicky. There are too many bands gravitating towards Norse mythology and its culture while writing about it because it is the trend rather than having love, appreciation, or genuine interest for it. In my opinion, good Viking Metal is a rarity.
Formed in 2002, Swiss Folk Metal act Eluveitie were thrust almost immediately towards the front line of the burgeoning, so-called Viking Metal/Battle Metal scene as it erupted around them during the middle of that decade. Metal inspired by Vikings and Folk music can be traced back to the likes of Bathory and Skyclad, if not before, but such was the explosion of bands around this time, you couldn’t get out of bed for tripping over accordions, fiddles, animal skins and antlers. Continue reading
Never have I listened to a band that made me want to learn about more about mythology, the band’s country of origin, their heritage, and their language all in one sitting. If you’re a Týr fan, you’ve most certainly been down this rabbit hole every album cycle – I can’t count how many times I’ve spent my spare time doing endless Google searches learning about mythology and Vikings as well as reading and reciting Faroese lyrics while getting lost in the beauty of their music; it’s like getting high without doing drugs. Continue reading
Earlier Amon Amarth has announced their new album Berserker, due on May 3rd via Nuclear Blast. The band just released the brutal new single, ‘Raven’s Flight’ And now you can watch the video for the track! Continue reading
Viking Metallers Amon Amarth has announced their new album Berserker, due on May 3rd via Nuclear Blast. The band just released the brutal new single, ‘Raven’s Flight’ Which you can hear below! The album is the first with new drummer Jocke Wallgren (October Tide). The disc was recorded at Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, California with producer Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with Anthrax, Steel Panther, Uriah Heep, and Stone Sour. Crank it up to 11 and listen to ‘Raven’s Flight’ right now! Continue reading
It’s hard to believe that Amon Amarth has been a band for over twenty-five years. The incredible arc of their journey from a suburban bunch of guys from nearby Stockholm, Sweden with a dream to world dominating metal force majeure is nothing short of astounding. As much as I have followed their career as closely as possible, there were definite gaps in my knowledge. In the incredible new documentary/concert film Amon Amarth – The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm (Metal Blade) certainly illuminates the backstory of one of the greatest modern metal bands today. It definitely didn’t happen overnight and there were many missteps that could have ensured they never succeeded. However, the Amon Amarth story is about perseverance and the strength to achieve what your mind desires. Continue reading
The first time I crossed swords (!) with Norse warriors Einherjer was shortly after the release of the stellar blackened Viking Metal opus Odin Owns Ye All (Century Media) when they impressed on a bill that included Cradle of Filth and the underrated Old Man’s Child. The next stages of their career, however, were not so kind on the band, as they struggled to establish themselves, or really kick on. Continue reading
Viking metal pioneers Einherjer, are releasing their new album, Norrøne Spor, via Indie Recordings this November 9th. The band has recorded their first track in English in 15 years, ‘Kill The Flame’, and Ghost Cult is proud to bring you the exclusive stream to jam out to right now! Continue reading
A project originally conceived to celebrate 2014’s bicentenary of the Norwegian Constitution, Skuggsjá – A Piece For Mind and Mirror (Season of Mist) was a collaborative record from Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved, and Einar Selvik of Wardruna. After the success of that 2016 release, the pair rekindled their partnership and have now written follow-up piece Hugsjá (By Norse Music).