Sony Music / Columbia release: January 22, 2021
The new album of the Nordic storytellers Wardruna lead by Einar Selvik can simply be described as a masterpiece. Kvitravn means ‘white raven’ and is also Einar’s stage name, but it is more about the ideas that originally inspired him to make music. Einar explores the philosophical, esoteric, Norse myths and how these ancient traditions define human nature and nature itself.
There lies, among other things, the wisdom that humans and animals exist side by side in a consensual, yet watchful way: ‘Munin’, one of the ravens of the Norse god Odin, ‘Kfit Hjort’ (white stag) and the narrator in ‘Fylgjutal’ is accompanied by a wolf-like spirit. ‘Skugge’ (shadow) is about the search for truth, and ‘Andvevarljod’ is about an appeal to the nine Norns, the female beings who dispose of fate.
Thus Kvitravn features many centuries-old instruments such as the goat horn, the kravik lyre and the tagelharpa (ponytail hair harp). ‘Andvevarljod’ presents a small choir of famous traditional Norwegian singers, Kirsten Bråten Berg, Sigrid Berg, Unni Løvlid, Ingebjørg Reinholdt along with Wardruna singer Lindy-Fay Hella.
Einar seems to be more shaman than musician – the music is archaic, hypnotic, other-worldly, captivating. Or let me put it this way – “soundtrack of the TV show Vikings” – and literally so, as Wardruna have contributed to it since 2014. But it’s not all mystical-esoteric, the groove of Fylgjutal invites you to dance, as does Viseveiding with a Joik opening. With this album, not only the Folk-Pagan hearts should beat faster. This album will touch you on a primeval level and I believe hardly anybody will be able to escape the magic enchantment woven by this music.
Kvitravn (White Raven)
Fylgjutal (Speech of the Fylgja)
Kvit hjort (White Stag)
Vindavlarljod (Song of the wind-bred)
Andvevarljod (Song of the Spirit-weavers)