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.
Vivid & Personal
The spirit of determination rages on as HULKOFF today unveiled ‘Till Valhall’, the second single from his upcoming record, Ragnarök (the first single, ‘Holmgang’, released in May.) While HULKOFF has never been shy about pinning his colors to the mast so far as heavy metal bluster goes, the new song, released in both Swedish (Svitjod Edition) and English (Vinland Edition), feels more akin to the Swedish metal pantheon of successful world stage bands than his usual powerhouse theatrics (that has, in so far, caused some to align HULKOFF with Sabaton.)
“As ever, hearing HULKOFF sing in his native language lends a sense of personal connection with the material but also highlights the songwriter’s spectacular capability to set a vivid scene.”
Alongside previous single ‘Holmgang’, the suggestion seems to be HULKOFF is playing much more to his metallic elements than on his first two records. While Pansarfolk introduced more traditional Swedish instrumentation into the mix than had ever been used previously, ‘To Valhalla’ suggests Ragnarök might employ these elements more sparingly, using them as background accompaniment as opposed to being a key element of the composition. Whether that is actually the case we will know once the full album releases, but the approach so far certainly shapes the third HULKOFF album to be a strong player in the heavy metal/folk crossover field.
As ever, hearing HULKOFF sing in his native language lends a sense of personal connection with the material but also highlights the songwriter’s spectacular capability to set a vivid scene. Again drawing comparisons to some of the most successful metal bands of Sweden, ‘To Valhalla’ (‘Till Valhall’ in the Swedish Svitjod version) is as directly ‘blood and glory’ as the artist has engaged in to this point, while the introduction of folk elements further into the track still keeps HULKOFF rooted in his distinctive, poetic folk/heavy metal crossover of the past — of course, fused with the present.
“A life in fiery battle is coming to its end. I gaze upon the blade and smile; it did not break or bend.”
Folk, metal, and nigh-on Skaldic poetry, is admirably captured in the English lyrics of ‘To Valhalla’ that tell of a warrior’s ethos and life in battle, and how despite an imminent death, his weapons never failed.
Upcoming Album Release
HULKOFF may have named his third record Ragnarök, although a few unfortunate events tell us he might be tired of fencing the apocalypse. While this may not be the final bout of the Old Gods, the ongoing pandemic (and other global events) have forced a delay in the release of Ragnarök, with production issues around the printing of physical copies of the album, including a high-demand vinyl edition, the Ragnarök release date has been pushed to October 22.
Logistics and production issues will surely be sorted out for the Ragnarök release. Meanwhile, Kurgan Compass™ certainly looks forward to HULKOFF’s grounded, powerful, and sincere metal-blusters.
‘To Valhalla’ is out now on all major music services and YouTube as per the below video. HULKOFF’s third album ‘Ragnarök’ can be pre-ordered now by way of Faravid Recordings. Of course, ‘To Valhalla’ has been added to the Kurgan Compass™ Spotify playlist, alongside ‘Holmgang’ — where fans can listen now.