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Viking music

The best Viking epic music

The Viking civilization disappeared many centuries ago. However, traces of their culture have come down to us in the form of sagas and artifacts. Of Viking music, on the other hand, we have the instruments and texts of the sagas.

In recent years there has been an attempt to revive the traditional sounds of medieval Scandinavia. Sometimes through genres like hard rock or electronics, but other times trying to achieve the greatest possible realism.

These groups use Old Norse, the language of the Vikings , with the musicality that characterizes it. In addition, they play traditional Viking instruments such as goat horns, reindeer skin drums or certain types of lyre. Here is a selection of the best Viking music you can listen to today:

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Viking musical bands

Without a doubt, Norwegian composer Einar Kvitrafn Selvik’s Wardruna project is one of the best approaches to early Viking music. This band has developed a musical trilogy inspired by runes and old Nordic traditions.

With the albums Runaljod (2009), Yggdrasil (2013) and Ragnarok (2016), Wardruna achieves an impressive atmosphere that takes us back to the Viking era. Among the ritual songs and traditional instruments you can hear the croaking of crows, the bellowing of animals and the pouring rain.

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The band Wardruna is also known for collaborating on the soundtrack of Vikings, the popular TV series produced by the History Channel.

In the same vein we have Leidungr. This musical group applies orchestral accompaniment to Nordic folk, with a result that comes close to Viking epic music.

The Gjallarhorn Finns also include medieval pieces typical of the folklore of the Swedish-speaking part of Finland in their repertoire. They use old Nordic and Runic themes. The use of kulning chants, a vocal technique used in ancient Scandinavia to call cattle, stands out.

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Other interesting Viking music proposals are Dordeduh, Skuggsjá, Eligawar, Anilah, Forndom and Hedningarna.

Contemporary Viking music

For more contemporary bets, we find Garmarna. This Swedish group adapts old Nordic songs to new times, accompanying them with rock and electronic sounds.

Icelanders Skálmöld have been reviving Icelandic sagas since 2009 in a perspective known as viking metal.

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On the other hand, Karin Dreijer Andersson, a member of the Swedish band The Knife, has achieved great success with her project Fever Ray. No doubt you have heard him, because his song If I had a heart is the theme song of the Viking series.