The Northern part of Europe is credited for many things, including for the high-quality of life and the best educational systems in the world, but rarely for its music scene. Although there are plenty of local bands, few of them manage to become popular outside the borders of Northern Europe.
Wardruna and Kaleo seem the exceptions to the rule, as they managed to attract millions of fans across the world with their fresh and unique sounds. In this episode, meet Wardruna, the brilliant band originated from Norway that will change your mind about folkloric music and help you appreciate the true Viking roots.
The band was formed back in 2003 by Einar Selvik, Gaahl, and Lindy Fay Hella with Selvik and Gaahl being previous members of another band named Gorgoroth. Moreover, each of the members was actively involved in other bands before starting to work together.
The group recorded and released their first album in 2009, followed by a second one four years later, in 2013. Their artistic interests cover the ambient and dark folk genres, but they are influenced by other music styles too.
2014 was one of the most interesting ones in the history of the band as it took part in the ambitious History channel project, the popular TV series “Vikings”. Selvik was the one announcing the big news, and he also appeared in the show’s second season. Soon after, Gaahl left the band.
The band’s third album, “Runaljod – Ragnarok”, was released in 2016 and, thanks to the huge success of the “Vikings”, it ranked on the first position in Billboard’s World Albums chart, an outstanding performance for an experimental band like Wardruna.
In recent years, they started becoming more popular and were even invited to play at various music festivals, including the experimental music festival Menuo Juodaragis in Lithuania, back in 2017. The beginning of 2018 counted for the band’s first ever tour to North America. Finally, Wardruna managed to release a fourth and latest album at the end of 2018, proving they still have a lot to say in the folk industry.
Wardruna is one of the few bands that tries to integrate primitive traditional instruments into their songs, bringing the Viking culture and ideology closer to the modern ages.
The band’s songs include old instruments made of deer hides such as flutes, frame drums, harps lur, and kraviklyr. Fans can also discover the use of various other sounds like the ones made by rocks, water, trees, and even torches, all in an attempt to create unique songs that can sweep realms and dimensions.
In our opinion, Wardruna is worth listening to even if you’re not a fan of the Viking culture or folk music.