Wardruna – “Yggdrasil”

Wardruna – “Yggdrasil” (Indie Recordings)

Formed by ex Gorgoroth drummer Kvitrafn, Wardruna is the musical and spiritual extension of his shamanic beliefs based on a concept around Norse runes and traditions owing much to none other than Gaahl, who also sings. This isn’t modern music by any form, but rather an intent to connect with the past to revitalize ancient traditions and I would imagine, lost spirituality. Modern instruments are kept to a minimum with the preference being on the traditional like animal hide drums, deer-hoof percussion and bone flutes, with again the emphasis being on not just achieving authentic sounds but also a ritualistic approach to creating the instruments to begin with. It is clear that Wardruna is not just a goal but also a spiritual journey! For me, the vocals are really special: a mixture of shamanic and throat singing as undertaken by Kvitrafn and Gaahl, but also a female vocalist in Lindy Fay Hella who may also be bringing in a rune magic dimension. With some parts of the album recorded outdoors and featuring the sounds of natural elements like water, stones and trees you can imagine Wardruna playing this live in a cavern or deep in the forest or atop a mountain top – whatever the medium the resonating effect of their runic music is nothing short of magnetic.

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