Monday, 27 July 2015

Wardruna "Runaljod - Gap Var Ginnunga" (2009)

"Sound of runes, the gap was yawning" is the translated title of this fogy, foreboding record by Nordic Folk group "Wardruna" who formed in 2003 with a vision of creating music and sounds to captivate Norwegian heritage, Norse Mythology and nostalgia of forgotten times through Ambient music. The group distinctively pass the mark of general musical ambiance, creating wildly vivid and transforming soundscapes that paint a dark and tribal vision of cold, unforgiving north.

The record is ripe with cultural instruments, tribal chants and enchanting vocal choirs that play over a rigid backbone of foggy, dense violin-like sounds and the deep pulse of the drum that keeps pace in the backdrop. The sound is lush, capable of igniting the imagination for tribal life and mystic mythology in the snowbound Norwegian landscapes. The detail going as far to include the sounds of birds singing, and crows squawking in the distance as the sounds grow into visions of ritualistic behavior and worship of ancient gods.

The record has a powerful, and obvious drone as the feel of one song flows into the next, the pounding drum guiding the way, never giving in to any dramatic experimentation beyond the scope. Wardruna have a clear vision thats executed exquisitely. Its strengths make it a fine record when in the right mood, in others its droning nature and rigidity leave it a little dry and uneventful, but thats clearly not the intention. Every droning moment paints the abandon of vast empty landscapes and brings us closer to our mercy of nature. With caring production capturing the charm of the instruments and cultural voices "Runaljod - Gap Var Ginnunga" throws the listener deep into a vision of the past through the eyes retrospect and romances with the times forever lost.

Rating: 7/10