INTERVIEW: Daniel Beckman of Urferd on “Resan” – Norse Music, and More!

Ghost Cult caught up with Daniel Beckman (Twilight Force, Ages) of Urferd! His solo ancient Norse music project just released its debut album “Resan” via Black Lodge Records. Daniel spoke about the genesis of this project, the long road from concept to the finished album, his composing and production styles, new music he is already working on, and much more!

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Wardruna – Runaljod Gap Var Ginnunga



Since his departure from Gorgoroth, Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik set about creating a project steeped in the heritage of Nordic spiritualism which swept away any preconceptions the scene may have had when this release reared its head back in 2009. The initial chapter in a trilogy of albums based on ancient the Elder Futhark; the oldest form of runic alphabet popularised by northern European tribes, Runaljod Gap Var Ginnunga (Indie) is a compdlling journey throughout its fifty two minute duration.

That an album which features no distorted guitar, drums or modern instrumentation of any kind could capture the imagination of so many metal fans seems curious on the surface, but the nocturnal nature of compositions such as ‘Thurs’, with its mouth harp and homemade percussion delicately embellished with gorgeous hardanger fiddle, creates an experience which transcends genre. The ethereal vocals of Linda Fay Hella are breath-taking, yet over-shadowed by the sinister shaman that is Kvitrafn’s former Gorgoroth colleague Gaahl, whose trance inducing chanting lures the lister into the primordial depths of pre-Christian Norway.

The most apparent aspect of Runaljod… is how authentic it is. Much of this can be attributed to the use of real recordings of wind and other atmospheric effects which Einar himself acquired, rather than relying on synths. Acts like Finland’s Nest may have a similar approach but this work has more in common with the dark ambient genre.

Able to shift mood from menacing to enchantingly beautiful, the album has many stand out moments but is most rewarding when experienced in a single sitting and its strength lies in retaining a uniquely Norse atmosphere throughout which allows these unique compositions to really stand out.  The instrumentation here shows a remarkable sense of commitment to recreating the sounds of the early Norse tribes and throat singing, goat skull percussion instruments and all manner of curious items are employed here to great effect. Witness the foreboding ‘Thurs’, for proof.

A majestic journey into bygone times, Runaljod… is a stunning piece of work. This vinyl re-issue should only serve to whet the appetite of fans awaiting the forthcoming third chapter of this epic trilogy.



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