Musical discoveries

As I move back toward working on TE, I’ve been looking for music that fits the tone of the story.

I quickly learned that a lot of the music inspired by Norse history and literature and mythology tends to be heavy metal. Which can be fun in an over-the-top way for a while–my Manowar downloads did get some serious play at first–but which eventually gets old–and after a while, one heavy metal band going on about Óðinn and Þór and glory in battle sounds much like another.

And my story really isn’t about any of that anyway (for all that a certain raven has insisted on taking up residence in the story).

So I was delighted to discover the Danish band Krauka playing saga-influenced music on saga-era instruments. There are some clips of their music on the Krauka Myspace page. Good stuff. What’s interesting is that you can sort of see how they have the same influences as the metal bands, only they do more interesting (to me) things with it.

I’ve already ordered their albums. Here are some summaries of the lyrics some of their songs.

“Jomsvikingerne” (which can be played from the Myspace page) was especially interesting to me right now, as I’ve just finished listening to the Saga of the Jomsvikings. (Signs and portents! Prophetic dreams! A brotherhood of men who laugh at death!) (And who live in a guarded fortress with a “no girls allowed” sign over the door–when the slashers finish with Laxdæla Saga, they really need to visit the Jomsvikings. :-)) The song itself deals with an incident toward the end of the saga, where Earl Hakon, unable to defeat the Jomsvikings, offers sacrifices to the goddess he worships in return for victory in battle. She refuses all his gifts, even when he finally offers human sacrifices–until he finally offers her his youngest son, who is still a child. That she accepts, and the boy is sacrificed, and the battle is won. Creepy, disturbing stuff. (And was this a painful choice Earl Hakon made in order to save his people? Or is this a sign that he’s a terrible man who didn’t deserve to win the battle but did anyway? The sagas are silent on that, as they are on so many things.)

So, anyone know of any other saga-inspired music (in any language) that I should know about? 🙂

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