May 13, 2021 — Ambient neofolk project Herknungr has just released their full-length follow up to the Anglo-Saxon-inspired Ængletribe EP, released earlier this year, in the shape of Ættingi.
Whilst the band’s short, four-track EP released earlier this year focused on the English tribes of the Anglo-Saxon period that ran from the 400s CE to the Norman invasion in the mid-1000s, the new album Ættingi — which is an Old English word that means ‘kinsman’ — is an ambient full-length release that revolves around Viking life in a Scandinavian settlement. By combining epic orchestration and Nordic instrumentation, this release conjures a distinct feeling of the Viking Age whilst also being a more contained and focused setting than previous works.
We reached out to Alex McCree, the man behind Herknungr, and asked him to describe the release for Kurgan Compass readers:
“An atmospheric journey of life in a Viking age settlement. Ancient and otherworldly sounds to take you back with nature, closeness to your kin and community.” — Herknungr
This sentiment has been channeled into 13 tracks of dark ambient music with a moody heathen folk feel, continuing the international narrative trek of Herknungr’s musical catalog, which frequently explores the stories of the tribes who crossed both paths and swords in ages long gone.
Ættingi is a significant addition to the ongoing diverse work of McCree, who also composes stock music and tracks inspired by video games. In addition, McCree curates a 24/7 Viking folk music radio station on YouTube with the ambition to champion the heathen music of fellow folk artists. This sense of community also runs deep in Ættingi, which bristles with the atmospheric hubbub of percussion, a distinct neofolk texture, and the sounds of nature, which all together craft an image of a historic settlement brimming with life and the spirituality of the settlements of the once-upon-a-time co-existing Norse, Danish, and Anglo-Saxon cultures.