Head Into Battle and Valhalla With Wardruna’s ‘Raido’
Sometimes "folk" can seem like a dirty word. The term conjures images of a coffee house sparsely populated with tea-drinkers "entertained" by an amateur vocalist clutching an acoustic, needlessly rambling through songs that are a carbon copy of a facsimile of a replica of a likeness of something that Dylan or Joan Baez might have conjured and then immediately discarded. Less is more, but in most cases pertaining to folk music, we would rather do with much, much less.
Where music rooted in folk shines is when flavor is added, be it dabbles of other genres, indigenous styles and instrumentation, vocal patterns that challenge, or song structures that "move the chains" from the status quo. Wardruna do just this, employing traditional Norwegian music, ambient post-rock dramatics and metal's big bang drama to come to a unique and wholly rare approach.
The core duo of Einar (formerly Gorgoroth, Sahg, etc.) and Linda Fay Hella propel the music of Wardruna — the former with vocals / instrumentation and the latter with ethereal vocals akin to Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser or Enya. Their approach is haunting, emotional and epic in the same ways that touched fans of Dead Can Dance or Sigur Rós. The live show is nothing short of a full classical suite, complete with handmade instruments originally employed by the vikings.
The band's latest offering to the Norse gods (and your iTunes or whatever) is Runaljod – Ragnarok, the new LP due on October 21. Ahead of the LP, the band has dropped a video for "Raido," a beautifully shot clip that not only highlights their surreal musical approach, but offers the perfect visualization for it as well. Grab your nearest steed and check it out below. Grab your copy of the LP via By Norse Music.