Runes, ravens and sorcery: how pagan-folk mystics Wardruna are bringing the old ways back

Metal Hammer

Einar Selvik poured his heart and soul into Wardruna’s Runaljod trilogy of albums. Each explored a set of eight runes from the Elder Futhark – the earliest runic alphabet, in which every character symbolises a trait as well as a letter and a spoken sound. They took the listener on an immersive journey from creation to rebirth via drones, drumbeats and other primal sounds created by traditional instruments, alongside the natural noises of trees, stones and animals.

This doesn’t all have to be spiritual or religious: it’s an attitude.

Einar Selvik

It was the expression of a yearning the Norwegian had felt since discovering the runes as a teenager, and something that had called him away from his previous life as the drummer in black metallers Gorgoroth, catapulting him to the forefront of a neo-pagan folk-metal movement. And in 2016, his mission was complete.

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