Wardruna reveal details of their new album, Runaljod - Ragnarok

Wardruna press photo 2016

These are heady times for Wardruna. Having helped score the hugely popular Vikings TV series, joined forces with Enslaved for the epic Skuggsjá project at the behest of the Norwegian government, helped set up the London By Norse festival that drew thousands of devotees ilast March and become an ever-growing cultural force on the back of two mesmerising, spirit-awakening albums, the band are due to return with a new opus, Runaljod – Ragnarok on October 21.

Released via the new imprint co-owned by Wardruna founder Einar Selvik, By Norse Music, Runaljod – Ragnarok is the final part of the trilogy based on the 24 ancient runes of the Elder Futhark that began with Runaljod – Gap Var Ginnunga in 2009 and continued in 2013 with Runaljod – Yggdrasil. Performed on traditional Nordic instruments but with an expansive, rapt approach that’s both otherworldly and unfathomably intimate, Wardruna’s music is a carrier signal for a pagan consciousness and sense of continuity that’s been embraced fervently in the metal scene and beyond.

Closely bound to its predecessors but with a stark yet immersive and transporting atmosphere all its own, Runaljod – Ragnarok is the first Wardruna album without Kristian ‘Gaahl’ Espedal providing vocals alongside Einar and Lindy-Fay Hella, but brings in a host of new elements, including Scandinavian bronze lures and a children’s choir, whose presence on the song Wujo alongside Einar’s children is a binding of generations into a multi-layered sound of spiritual uprising. The full track listing for the album is below:

  1. Tyr

  2. UruR

  3. Isa

  4. MannaR – Drivande

  5. MannaR – Liv

  6. Raido

  7. Pertho

  8. Odal

  9. Wunjo

  10. Runaljod

Wardruna will also be embarking on a European/US tour, starting at Midgardsblot festival on August 18-21, where they’ll be reprising the Skuggsjá performance with Enslaved that took place at London By Norse and with two dates in the UK at London’s Union Chapel on November 16 and 17. Like most of the dates, the second show has already sold out, but tickets for the added show on the 16th are still available here. Einar will also be performing solo at New York By Norse, which takes place on December 9.

Salve your soul and get tickets for Wardruna’s Union Chapel show on November 16 here

Visit Wardruna’s homepage here

And visit the ByNorse homepage here

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Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.