Kurgan Compass™

Album Review:
Alien Weaponry — ‘Tangaroa’

Performing in the Te Reo Māori language mixed with English lyrics, New Zealand thrash-metal warriors assert themselves with a pinch of folk on second album.

September 21, 2021 — When Alien Weaponry emerged in 2018 they represented an immensely exciting new prospect in heavy metal. The band consists of singer and guitarist Lewis de Jong, drummer Henry de Jong, and bassist Tūranga-Morgan-Edmonds — their debut record Tū being a bold statement of personal and cultural identity centered around the trio’s heritage in New Zealand’s Māori culture.

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Alina Gingertail’s ‘King’s Bounty II’ Collaboration

September 18, 2021 — Following last month’s release of King’s Bounty II, Kurgan Compass™ wanted to highlight one of the game’s most outstanding features, namely its soundtrack. Specifically, the first piece of its musical encapsulation — ‘Greflet’s Song’. Before we jump into the melodies that join Kurgan’s quest to inform of the future of neofolk, let us head back in time — to the earliest days of King’s Bounty.

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Metallica Celebrates 30 Years of ‘The Black Album’

September 17, 2021 —  It is infrequent that you hear Weezer and Metallica in the same sentence. Maybe even less so that Miley Cyrus’ name gets thrown into the mix. Yet the September 10 release of Metallica’s The Metallica Blacklist brought together a collaboration of artists from all across the spectrum.

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Weekly Roundup:
Bjørnson/Selvik, SYR, Fenris

September 5, 2021 — For those in a dark and mysterious mood, perhaps longing for a little fantasy, this week’s roundup of neofolk releases delivers. It has not been a hefty week for Kurgan Compass’ roundup, but it does not have to be when the material released is the kind that latches on and stick.

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ALBUM REVIEW:
OSI AND THE JUPITER — ‘STAVE‘

September 2, 2021 — Osi’s new album Stave aptly is not only inspired by the Appalachian mountains but also draws inspiration from “spell staves” — so-called “galdrastafir” in the Old Norse language, geometric sigils usually carved on wood for practicing “white hat” nature magic in medieval Iceland.

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WEEKLY ROUNDUP: Foresaga, Osi and the Jupiter, HULKOFF

August 28, 2021 — Kurgan Compass prides itself on revealing the newest, most exhilarating music discoveries rooted in ancient myth, dark mystery, and unknown history. This week, we touch upon the new album Stave by US neofolk masters Osi and the Jupiter, the ferocious latest record from Swedish Viking metallers Thyrfing, and more.

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Single Release:
HULKOFF — ‘To Valhalla’

August 27, 2021 — Swedish metal artist HULKOFF has debuted new single ‘To Valhalla’ — in two languages — ahead of the October release for his third LP, Ragnarök. As with his previous releases, tracks are released in Swedish and English respectively — with both iterations losing nothing in translation, as groove, rhyme, and power of intent remain strong.

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Album Review:
Fornsken — ‘Galder Jag Kväda Kan’

August 26, 2021 — Founded (and masterminded) by Swedish musician Andreas Axelsson (presumably no relation to the ex-Marduk and Edge of Sanity musician of the same name), his project’s latest album Galder Jag Kväda Kan represents the final part of a trilogy two years in the making, exploring Nordic culture and music.

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Weekly Roundup: Fornsken, Kati Rán, Anilah, and more

August 21, 2021 — Here at Kurgan Compass™ we endeavor to bring you the best of myth-driven and otherworldly music, be that neofolk, dark ambient, or folk metal. This week we turn our ears towards new tracks from Darkher, Anilah, Fornsken, Hindarfjäll, and a new undertaking for Dutch-Frisian neofolk solo artist Kati Rán. FULL STORY »


Livestream Look:
NYTT LAND — ‘RITUAL’

August 20, 2021 — While the wedge of isolation has long continued to separate artists and audiences, it is time once again to indulge in the ritual of live music; that innately tribal experience of connection through the power of sound between the skalds and the tribesmen. The hotly anticipated live show for ‘Ritual’ by Shamano-Norse folk outfit NYTT LAND delivers.

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Weekly Roundup: TVINNA, Osi and the Jupiter, Mörkriden

August 15, 2021 — Kurgan Compass™ strives to cover grounded, genuine neofolk and related folk metal on a weekly basis — and each week has proven to be feast or famine so far. This one was a feast though, bringing an aura of celebration with new material released by TVINNA, Osi and the Jupiter, NYTT LAND, and Mörkriden — a new, mysterious Sweden-based folk project. Plus, Munknörr announced a collab with Runahild.

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Interview: Anatoly “Shaman” Pakhalenko (NYTT LAND)

August 12, 2021 — NYTT LAND, the enigmatic neofolk duo from the frostbitten, dark, and brooding woods of Siberia ascends as one of the more captivating musical forces in neofolk. The folk music pair is set to weave an abundance of rituals through the release of their recent album that is so named — Ritual. FULL STORY »

Album Review:
Nytt Land — ‘Ritual’

August 7, 2021 — Hailing from rural Siberia, NYTT LAND’s ancestral connections to Norse mythology remain uncertain at best. But, when it comes to the assertion that identity equates to authenticity, the artist trio who forms the eclectic NYTT LAND dispels that notion entirely.

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Weekly Roundup: NYTT LAND, Moonloom, Sun Dance Moon

August 6, 2021 — As Earth spins into August while the hay-making days of Norse summer month “Heyannir” draws to a close, Kurgan Compass’ neofolk adept James Paterson has harvested some interesting hearsay for the folk-minded in this week’s news roundup.

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Album Review:
Danheim — ‘Domadagr’

July 31, 2021 — Operating under the moniker Danheim, Copenhagen’s Mike Olsen has forged a successful career around the tonally rich palette of the expanding Nordic neofolk scene, with Danheim joining the likes of Wardruna, Heilung, and SKÁLD as one of the genre’s most-streamed artists — pulling in over 490,000 monthly listeners on Spotify alone.

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Initial Vibes:
DROTT — ‘Marauders’ (Single)

July 28, 2021 — In an eerie and distinctive release from the folk-touched cinematic metal act DROTT, Marauders emerges from the mist, conjuring a sense of spacious dread and surreal ambiance. James Paterson has listened carefully to the newest release from this unusual amalgamation of folk and darkwave electronica.

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Weekly Roundup: Danheim, Bjorth, Herknungr, Osi

July 24, 2021 — It has been a few busy days for fans of Nordic folk music — artists seem to be revving up for autumn and winter. Over the course of last week, news of upcoming albums and the haunting auditory delights of new tracks filtering into the Kurgan Compass™ sphere of awareness. Mark Ottarp provides a full roundup.

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Album Review:
Gealdyr — ‘Eptir Ragnarök’

July 17, 2021Eptir Ragnarök is the latest blossoming of the longstanding cooperation between growing Dutch neofolk artist Gealdyr (Jonathan Barendsma) and Danish dark-folk artist Danheim (musician and producer Mike Schæfer Olsen).

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Editorial: The Rise of “HU” and Mongolian Folkrock

July 8, 2021 — Have you ever stumbled upon a new genre of music and wondered why it is been absent? You could be a 30-something lover of the auditory arts, but somehow, the distinct sounds of an entire subgenre of music have avoided your ears. And, to be honest, it is maddening.

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