Title - 'Vikings Chant'
Artist - SKÁLD
For those not in the know, SKÁLD is a unique project in music inspired by Nordic mythology.
Developed over time by a group of enthusiasts, the project originated when producer-composer Christophe Voisin-Boisvinet encountered a trio of talented singers whose voices had atypical timbres.
Together they decided to breathe new life into the poetry of the ancient skalds, whose ancient language – Old Norse – told stories of the Vikings and their gods.
In the early Middle Ages, the skalds of Scandinavian society were storytellers, poets and musicians.
In the same way as the bards of the Celts, they sang the praises of their bloodlines, narrating the epic feats of heroes or the exploits of their Gods in times when the oral tradition was sovereign.
Blending chanted narratives with rhythmical song — in a combination carried by music that often led to a state of trance — the skalds captivated their listeners with the power of the images they evoked.
Skaldic poetry is extremely strong, with a rich vocabulary and often complex verses that confer a mysterious aura on the meaning, conferring the status of an initiate on the author of such works.
It can also be noted that this narrative role was not reserved for men alone, as the names of several female skalds are known to us.
Releasing their debut full-length album, Vikings Chant via Decca Classics (Universal Music Group), SKÁLD celebrate their heritage by performing in the ancient tradition they musically embrace.
1. 'Enn átti Loki fleiri börn'
8. 'Ó Valhalla'
9. 'Ec man iötna'
Calming, soothing, haunting, but over all unique, SKÁLD's music here on Viking Chant is very Celtic in its styling and yet, at the very same time, very of-its-own too.
Following up their well received Voices of Thula EP, the band - Justine Galmiche, Pierrick Valence and Mattjö Haussy - the first track leads us in, gently to their world, before both 'Rún' and 'Valfreyjudrápa' bring forth tribal drums and guitar work that stunningly blend with Galmiche's vocal tone.
Not all tracks are sung by Galmiche though as 'Gleipnir' is an upbeat cut, strengthened not only by some wild tribal drums but solid, stoic male vocals too. OK, sure, Galmiche's vocals do come in later to add harmonies to the track, but one a track such as 'Ec man iötna' (an esoteric acapella), these harmonized melodies add insightful depth.
Using such stringed instruments as the lyre, the talharpa, the citole, the nyckelharpa (aka a keyed harp), SKÁLD's debut full-length album is atmospheric to the ninth and is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most original albums I've had the pleasure to listen to for many a year.
Viking Chants will be released in three versions: CD Collector Pack, Vinyl and as a Limited Edition 32-page CD/book containing the lyrics and their translations in French.
Amazon Purchase Link
SKÁLD @ Facebook