Vera : Two years ago we were flabbergasted and surprised by the album Skuggsjá’, an ethnic cooperation between Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) en Einar Selvik (Wardruna). The album was integrally played live at Roadburn festival. But our Nordic guys did not rest on their laurels. Soon we can welcome new work, the successor called ‘Hugsjá’ (to see with, or within, the mind).
The way of working and presentation was the same as with ‘Skuggsjá’. First they played the music live in Norway, at the Bergen International festival in 2017, being part of a series of concerts named ‘Nordvegen’ (the Northern road), inspired by the history and traditions from every place on that route. Afterwards the music of the concert at Grieghallen was recorded in the studio and that’s what ‘Hugsjá’ is. The international live première will be at this year’s Roadburn. In addition to the two protagonists, there are quite a few guest musicians and an additional choir. However, there happens to be an essential difference with ‘Skuggsjà’: this time the music is completely acoustic and all the compositions are very melancholic, slow and thoughtful. One might really call this pure authentic folk for more than one hour. We hear sounds of nature, loads of authentic instruments mostly made by Einar himself and the metal element is totally absent. The music breathes a pure atmosphere, the sonorous clear vocals of Einar sound momentous and solemn, sometimes with a storytelling flavour. From time to time it turns into harmony vocals, with the choir in two from the eleven songs as extra. The inventive duo got multiple help from Iver Sandøy (drums, vocals, co-production), while Tony Lindgren did the mastering at the Fascination Street Studios. This is a pure and authentic album that shows grand beauty in its calmness. Recommended for open-minded metal fans and devotes of Wardruna.