Kurgan Compass™

EP Review: ‘Hardanger’ by Bjørnson & Selvik

Extraordinary folk duo Einar Selvik & Ivar Bjørnson release new two-track EP ‘Hardanger’ inspired by the history of their homeland in western Norway.

November 17, 2021 — Whether you prefer the black metal sound of Enslaved or the more traditional folk ambiance from Wardruna, one cannot understate the impact Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik have had on their respective genres. It should come as a surprise to no one that great things happen when these two musicians work together, like their 2018 album Hugsjá.

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Album Review:
Herknungr — ‘Dauðadagr’

Herknungr’s new album ‘Dauðadagr’ shows the well of inspiration has not only evolved but also that it still runs deep within the British Nordic folk artist.

November 12, 2021 — Ever prolific, British one-man neofolk project Herknungr (a customized, “artistic license” Old Norse spelling for “warrior king”) has released four albums in 2021 alone. In doing so, Herknungr has been able to explore myriad tones and facets of his Nordic-inspired soundscapes.

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Album Review:
Heldom — ‘Vaknan’

Danish neofolk artist Heldom embraces autumn with release of Viking-inspired surprise album oriented to the darker side of the heathen spectrum.

October 5, 2021 — As a child, Janus Pedersen was fascinated by drums. Perhaps then, this explains the prevalence of percussion found in his dark-folk project Heldom. Surprise-launching his second album Vaknan a year after releasing his first LP, Heldom again taps into the neofolk tide.

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ALBUM REVIEW:
OSI AND THE JUPITER — ‘STAVE‘

Energized by Norse rune magic and the Appalachian, Osi and the Jupiter’s fourth album strikes an exemplary balance between neofolk and mountain music.

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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Album Review:
Fornsken — ‘Galder Jag Kväda Kan’

While the world of Nordic folk often favors those with ambition and ingenuity, there is still a lot to be said for the musical triptych crafted by Fornsken.

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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Album Review:
Nytt Land — ‘Ritual’

Norse-Siberian folk mystics pierce the veil of the spiritual as their seventh album ‘Ritual’ is conjured into existance by way of Napalm Records.

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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Album Review:
Danheim — ‘Domadagr’

Danish darkfolk producer Mike Olsen has not let the pandemic curb his creative output as the champion of Viking music returns once more with new LP ‘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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Album Review:
Gealdyr — ‘Eptir Ragnarök’

‘Eptir Ragnarök’ is an expertly crafted neofolk album that seriously engages its listeners with the birth and death of the Norse cosmos — the coming of 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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Album Review:
Munknörr’s ‘Shaman’

New ‘Shaman’ LP is a landmark moment in the journey of Munknörr’s cross-cultural approach to neofolk; favorably channels elemental, unifying music.

June 30, 2021 — Munknörr’s latest record Shaman continues the sonic journey of neofolk duet Damian Schneider and Aethelwyne, with their new material seeking to discover a unifying essence of primal spirituality through ancient sounds, instruments, and symbols.

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‘Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids’

Max Aruj and Norse folk music expert Einar Selvik supply engaging and unique soundtrack to ‘Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s’ first expansion DLC.

June 11, 2021 — Continuing to prove his status as one of the world’s foremost experts on traditional Norse music, Wardruna’s Einar Selvik returns to the universe of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla to aid the creation of another soundtrack adventure for the game’s first expansion. FULL STORY »



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