December 26, 2021 — The year may be coming to a close, but that does not mean the distinct sounds of neofolk and folk metal will be taking a break. We were expecting another slow week as this is our final weekly roundup for the year, but lo and behold, we were greeted by a myriad of releases that provide all sorts of galder-chants and metal-making rune magic.
From live concerts and tributes to a debut folk EP straight out of Sweden, the week has delivered on some exciting bits of news. If there was any genre of music worth ringing in the New Year with, the melodic sounds of neofolk or the heavy sounds of related metal are absolutely high on the list.
Percival Schuttenbach Pays Tribute to ‘The Witcher’ 20th Anniversary
21 hard-hitting, beautiful, and unforgettable tracks make up the 20th-anniversary Metal Witcher Concert held by Polish folk act Percival Schuttenbach as the Witcher 3 co-writer and performer returns to the realm of Geralt of Rivia for over one hour and 33 minutes of iconic tracks from the ubiquitous CD Projekt series.
Schuttenbach’s 2019 live concert has found its way onto Spotify, where fans of folk music, Schattenbach, and the Witcher series can plug in and revisit the familiar Continent of monsters and men. Each track is distinct, pulling elements of neofolk and metal, blending them into a stellar collection of longs. Get lost in the stories from Geralt’s universe, told through the strings, drums, and vocals that boomed throughout the Pyrkon Fantasy Convention in Poznan, Poland in 2019 — a time when the world was still somewhat sane.
We have added our favorite songs to our playlists on Spotify as per usual, and you can listen to the full album by way of Percival Schuttenbach’s official home on Spotify.
Dragablíkk Launches Two-Track Single in Honor of the Winter Solstice
Rhythmic pounding and haunting throat singing introduce listeners to Draugablíkk’s latest venture, blending two tracks into one striking single. ‘Hreinnhǫfði – Solstice Sólablót’ is not your typical musical release, as the artist opted to bring two sounds together for a cohesive listening experience that honors the tales and legends of Winter Solstice.
Draugablikk wrote in the description of the track’s official music video.
“The track is a more ‘shamanic’ follow-up version from our Verjaseidr album song by the same name…”
According to Draugablikk, the track features the vocal talents of Alvtýra, the newest member of the project.
The two-part track is quite beautiful, and pairs well with the broad shots of Mother Nature intertwined with the thematic imagery of the visually stunning music video.
Head over to the Draugablíkk Bandcamp page if you would like to support the band.
Munknörr Surprises with Three-Track EP
The last we heard from the shamanic, Nordic, and Celtic-inspired musical project, Munknörr, was back in September with the release of ‘The Flight’. On December 23, the project’s Bandcamp page lit up with a new and unexpected three-track EP titled Mannaz.
The titular track off the album is steady, rhythmic, and carries itself well for eight minutes of music that has an innate connection with nature. The other two tracks, ‘Berkana’ and ‘Algiz’, don’t differ much from ‘Mannaz’ but carry a sound that is unique enough to offer a different sense of connection to the great outdoors.
As Munknörr describes, the new EP is “about nature, duality, rebirth, runes, and humanity”. Those themes are quite evident in the audible connection to Norse and Celtic culture and the ties to the tribal shamans of lands whose names time has forgotten.
You can find Mannaz on Munknorr’s official Bandcamp page here.
Heavy Metal and Folk Come Together in Suld’s ‘Chinggis Khaan’
It is not every day you are introduced to an upbeat, heavy metal-infused track that pays tribute to the late Ghengis Khan. And yet here we are, with Mongolian folk band Suld’s very distinct track ‘Chinggis Khaan’ blaring on repeat out of this writer’s speakers.
It may be difficult to determine what are the best element of this new track — the throat singing or fast-paced instrumentals — either way, both come together for a surprising listening experience. The Mongolian emperor may have had an impressive history rife with war and conquest, but Suld looks past the darker side of Genghis Khan for a song that almost sounds happy and cheery which suits the time of year.
It is definitely not the song we would expect to dig into Genghis Khan’s history, but ‘Chinggis Khan’ is inventive, creative, and another surprise for the burgeoning neofolk scene.
Sweden-Based Silfwerlood Releases Debut EP
Silfwerlood is a newcomer, but its debut three-track EP already shows it is a project worth keeping an eye on. Silfwerlood features three vastly different songs, which helps show the range of the Sweden-based project.
‘Sång till Midvinterblot’ kicks off the EP with something deeply rooted in the more stoic side of Norse culture. It tells a story and does so with purposefully rhythmic and slow vocals that immediately showcase the artist’s singing abilities. The follow-up track, ‘Vättesangen’, takes the EP in a different direction, going for something a little more folksy, upbeat, and fun. It is the crescendo of the three-track debut release, as the last track, ‘Njoruns Vaggvisa’ returns to the slower-paced style.
Silfwerlood is a noticeably strong entry for the new Swedish folk artist and is sure to build anticipation for future releases.