BOARHAMMER: Of DIY, gloomy woods and hierarchies

Good music can be released on any medium, of course, but when a band releases their demo as a tape, I’m doubly excited. There can hardly be two opinions about Boarhammer, who recently released their debut in this way: they are simply very, very good.
It’s nice that The Vessel (vocals, drums, bass) and Wodwoz (guitars, vocals) agreed to talk!

I am incredibly old and for that reason alone I immediately fell in love with “I: Cutting Wood For Magickal Purposes”. For all its originality, it sounds exactly like the early / mid 1990s. Is it presumptuous to assume that you have a certain love for the old Black Metal of Eastern Europe?

The Vessel: No, it’s not presumptuous at all. Master’s Hammer in particular is a band we hold in high regard. The combination of oddballness, traditional heavy metal, fury, and almost operatic bombast is something that impressed me quite a bit when I first got to hear it sometime in the 90s.
Through my grandmother’s origins, I also have a personal connection to Eastern Europe: she came from the region of the High Tatras and brought me into contact with numerous myths, legends, stories of occult practices and strange events etc. already in early childhood. Perhaps this shaped my interest in these subjects.

Wodwoz: Merula, first of all, thank you very much for the confession of love – we feel very honoured! Sure, there are quite a few bands we listened to regularly even during the making of the demo. Definitely Master’s Hammer. Tormentor are also great, but they sound completely different. So it’s quite possible that one or the other influence has crept in. In general, we try to find our own musical language and not to be the thousandth clone of something. Maybe it’s exactly this approach that brings us close to the bands you mentioned.

I hear a lot of influences from occult and black-tinged heavy metal. Also stirring twin guitars, for example in “Spirits on Black Wings”. My first thought, this sounds very much like old Messiah, was later put into perspective and probably referred more to the ingenious vocals.
Nevertheless, “Hymn to Abramelin” and “Extreme Cold Weather” are immortal and should be heard monthly, right?

The Vessel: To be honest, Messiah have not been a band of much relevance to us; in fact, it was through your reference to them that I first became aware of the band. That may be an educational gap, but it’s true. However, I find the vocals on “Hymn to Abramelin” pretty great.

Wodwoz: I’m afraid I’ll have to pass on that one too… Messiah have also passed me by so far. But thanks for the tip, cool shit! I generally like bands that produced extreme metal across genre boundaries in this small time window somewhere in the mid-eighties.

You formed in 2020, released a strong tape in 2021. What’s coming in 2022?

The Vessel: We are still working on new songs and hope to record them later this year. A few weeks ago we got in touch with the small but nice label Naturmacht Productions; Robert was quite taken with our demo tape and will probably release our next recordings. When that will happen, however, is not yet definite. We hope to release our first album in 2023.

Wodwoz: We have definitely tasted blood! When we started the band one and a half years ago, the only thing we really wanted to do was to finally make some noise in the rehearsal room again and, in the best case scenario, produce a few songs that we ourselves would enjoy. Although we have been friends for a long time, it never happened before that we made music together. To be honest, we were a bit surprised that the chemistry worked out so well in the end. In the meantime, the demo is half a year old and since then it’s been a wild ride: we’ve received masses of positive reviews and feedback, sold out our tapes completely and even found a label, Naturmacht, that is willing to release our next work.

A good and friendly label is an asset. But what if you received an offer from the very top, let’s say Napalm or Nuclear Blast?

The Vessel: I don’t think such a big label would be an option for us. We are convinced advocates of the DIY ethos and are not prepared to let ourselves be talked into our ideas and convictions from the outside. I can hardly imagine that a big record company would give a niche band like us full artistic freedom, but that’s what we want. With a label like Naturmacht, we feel that people like Robert are doing it for the right reasons and that they too care about the independence of the artists, which should be encouraged rather than restricted. If it’s more about sales figures than about the music, things become difficult and also uninteresting for us. We love what we do, but fortunately we are not dependent on making money with it.

Wodwoz: Major labels knocking on our door is a nice thought process, but nothing more. There is a small but fine target group of freaks for our music, from which we have received an incredible amount of positive feedback within the last six months since the release of our demo. And that’s the only reason we’re doing this. Of course we want to reach more people in the future, but definitely still in the underground and with full creative control!

When I looked into this internet, I was amazed that there really is a weapon called Boarhammer. Were you aware of that when you came up with the name, or was it inspired by the hammer drill (its german name is Bohrhammer), or was the naming simply done on a spiritual level?
But apart from that, what is your favourite hand tool? (Mine is the water pump pliers, also called pipe wrenches. You can grab, twist, screw, break, hammer and even throw with it).

The Vessel: Do you mean that fantasy tabletop or computer game thing, or that sling for hunting? (The sling thing that seems to somehow cushion the pressure of the gun. – m.) We have actually discovered these devices in the meantime. We were not aware of either when we came up with the name, but at least the fantasy weapon fits somehow….
In fact, when finding the name, we thought about how we could find a symbol for our thematic-philosophical background on the one hand, and on the other hand how we could make a more or less obvious reference to the representatives of the primordial soup of Black Metal, who influenced us because we grew up with their music. For us, “Boar” symbolically embodies our forest- and myth-relatedness quite well; Hellhammer are just super, so one fits into the other.

Wodwoz: The fact that we often directly arouse these DIY associations with the German-speaking public was not intended, but probably can’t be changed now, haha. Our sound has been compared several times to a pack of wild boars raging through the undergrowth and leaving a trail of destruction – I find that more fitting.
If you google this boarhammer hunting accessory thingy, you’ll find loads of photos and videos of asshole hunters shooting wild boars and anything else they can get their hands on for the sheer fun of it, and then posing with the trophies. May they all be mauled in agony by the righteous tusks of the mighty Boarhammer!

Are you more excited about the new King Diamond, or the new Mercyful Fate album? And if neither, would you at least like to chat a bit about your relationship or attitude towards the King?

The Vessel: I’m definitely more excited about the new Mercyful Fate album. The first two albums, “Melissa” and “Don’t break the Oath”, are really strong classics for me. This mixture of first class guitar work and the King’s unique vocals is unmatched.

Wodwoz: I’m really looking forward to both albums, but I have no illusions that the new discs can even come close to the classics. Of course, it always has the character of an event when legendary bands release a new album, and I always enjoy sitting down with it in peace. But to be honest, it tends to have the effect that I tend to put on an old record by the band in question relatively quickly. I’m definitely more excited about the new Mercyful Fate! I’m not a mega-fan and I don’t know all the later MF and Kind Diamond albums by a long shot. In principle, “Melissa” and “Don’t break the Oath” are really enough for me. Both albums breathe a spirit that the King could not reproduce with his later line-ups.

Imagine you are given a choice: You can either listen to any musical release before the year 2000, and not only listen to it, you may add the original recordings to your collection. But nothing after 1.1.2000, not even a new release, this world remains closed to you forever.
Or you may listen to and collect everything from 2000 until the end of your earthly days, really everything. And for free. But the music before 2000 is gone forever.
How would you decide?

Wodwoz: I follow very closely what new releases come out week after week, and I’m always on the lookout for new musical discoveries. I would miss that a lot, but I still choose option A. I increasingly find that I have such a strong nostalgic connection to albums I discovered in the early nineties that very few post-2000 releases come close to. Besides, there’s still so much to discover across music history that you can’t listen to it all in one lifetime. So it wouldn’t be boring with only old music.

The Vessel: Definitely the music from before 2000. The amount of innovative bands that existed between, let’s say, roughly 1970 and 2000 in the Rock and Metal field must not be lost. Of course, there have been great bands since 2000 and there are still great bands today that break boundaries and are able to add new facets to metal music. But if everything before 2000 was gone, that would probably be the more dramatic loss for me.

I suspect you have a deep connection to nature. Does this only refer to rituals in the dark woods, or do you also go fishing, hunting, looking for mushrooms or collecting herbs?

The Vessel: Being out in the dark woods is definitely part of the Boarhammer routine; the forest is the natural habitat of the Boarhammer, so to speak. This is where we decided to found the band, and this is where many important ideas around our music and our concept were and still are born. My relationship to nature, however, is much more diverse and is not limited to the band. Nature is important to me both in terms of concrete experience (e.g. through hiking, looking at and feeling the landscape and weather, but definitely also through collecting herbs or materials) and philosophically (e.g. regarding the symbolic level of the meaning of the forest, the mountains, the sea etc. in various mythologies).

Wodwoz: Picking mushrooms as well as wild and medicinal herbs has become more and more important to me in recent years. I find it fascinating what variety there is, and at the same time frightening how far we have moved away from the knowledge and practices of our ancestors with our modern way of life. I have great respect for hunting and fishing in its archaic form. Neither plays a role for us though, the Boarhammer coexists peacefully with all creatures of the woods and waters!

I like the statement in the booklet. (“Being an agent of chaos, BOARHAMMER deeply despises all kinds of concepts that aim at establishing an order of hierarchy of any kind, including ideas like racism, misogyny, sexism, fascism or any other -ism in the same vain. If you approve of concepts like that, BOARHAMMER is not for you.”)
Does “agent of chaos” mean sympathy for anarchy, or is that much, much deeper than any political view? Or both?

The Vessel: Both, actually. In the context of black metal, I find the reference to the world view of the church in England in Shakespeare’s time, for example, very interesting. In the Elizabethan worldview, there is a strict, God-given hierarchy, at the top of which is God himself and which assigns man a clearly superior role to the rest of nature. Within human society, again, a strict hierarchy exists. These circumstances are considered to be so willed by God; any rebellion embodies the power of chaos (of which the devil is the personification) and must be smashed for the sake of preserving or restoring order.
If one now considers black metal as a kind of nihilistic principle that questions and negates valid values and norms, i.e. as a mode of action of chaos, it cannot be justified as a political instrument – as in NSBM – because as such it would rather have the function of preserving or advancing hierarchies, i.e. shaping orders. This seems contradictory to me.

Does “I” mean that this delicious demo tape is the first part of a cycle?

The Vessel: Exactly. There will definitely be more to come. We are already following up on our concept and working diligently on new material.

Wodwoz: Yes, after all the positive reactions to our demo, the motivation to launch the next release is huge!

Thank you, big BOARHAMMER, and good luck for your future

DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER – on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of “Dschinghis Khan”.


Hardly anyone will have missed the fact that these days mark the 24th anniversary of the release of the groundbreaking Reiter 7″ “Dschinghis Khan”.
Reason enough to celebrate with a dignified interview.

Volk-Man, greetings.
How did you come up with the idea of releasing a snappy four-tracker between the enormously successful debut album and the eagerly awaited second album?

The starting point was the cover version of “Dschinghis Khan”, which we had rehearsed at some point in the rehearsal room and which also went down very well at live shows.
It had a certain “horse theme”, so Mongols, horsemen, Genghis Khan, world conquest etc. — all things that somehow interested us. — all things that somehow interested us. The song has a certain metal attitude even without our cover version. So, no sooner said than done, the song had to be recorded and since it wasn’t worth the effort for just one piece, we directly recorded three more songs.

Andreas Hilbert lives a bit away from you; did you travel all the way to Berlin to record the song, or were you just in the area?

The journey took almost 8 hours because the VW band bus had a problem with the cooling system. Somehow air got into the cooling system and the engine threatened to overheat. Therefore, the drive towards Berlin was accompanied by 4 longer breaks, where we simply had to wait until the engine had cooled down again, then we continued at a snail’s pace for 30-50 km.
Dr Pest was the only one who was really pissed off by the whole thing – firstly, it was his bus and secondly, as the driver, he had to stay sober. Fuchs, Skelleton and I had realised straight away that we’d better pack some proper Martinis when we stopped at the petrol station, several bottles went on the way to Berlin and to be honest I don’t know how the journey ended.
At some point in the night I woke up in Andreas Hilbert’s pad (rather, his fat cat woke me up) and Andreas was ranting (also drunk) in turn about the genius of Carcass, Oxiplegatz and Rhapsody.
The next day was hell, as expected. Being completely hungover in the studio is generally not a good idea.
Skell was still so wiped out that he was virtually unable to keep half a beat – which was already killing Andreas.
Dr. Pest and I tried to repair the bus during his drum recordings, but we had to find a slope so that the air bubble in the cooling system could move towards the slope and escape from the air release screw, while water was poured into the radiator at the back. The VW Boxer engine in the rear of the bus was extremely difficult to access and the whole operation took hours. Afterwards, just for fun, we did a push-up competition until our arms and shoulders burned and hurt. A really stupid idea when you have to play guitar and bass shortly afterwards and there are 16 tons hanging from each arm.

Very entertaining, thanks for the story!
The artwork is killer, also the backside. Who was responsible for that?

It’s all stolen from a Marvel comic. Back then, without the internet, that wasn’t so dramatic, because who in the USA was supposed to notice when a small East German underground band wanted to save a bit on the graphic designer and used Marvel’s beautiful collection?
Well, in a way it was also a tradition that we didn’t care so much about the copyright of the artwork, “Firestorm”, “Soft & Stronger” and also “Allegro Barbaro” were similarly “charmingly borrowed”. But in the end, in the good cause of the Reiter, no one ever sued for that either.

Can you still remember how the three original compositions came about? Did your songs form more during jamming back then, or did one arrive with largely finished songs and lyrics?

“Dance with me” was already composed for the upcoming album “Allegro Barbaro”, “Human End Part II” was a piece that could have been on “Soft & Stronger” but ended up not being on the album. “The Price Of Ignorance” was an experiment, because we played with a lower tuning of the guitars than usual. Normally we had tuned down from E to D, but for this song we tuned down from E to A. It suited the song quite well. This suited the piece quite well, but in the end it was a bit “too much”. On “Allegro Barbaro” everything was tuned to “D” again…. From “All You Need Is Love” on we found a good middle ground – we tuned down to “C” and since then this has been our standard tuning for all albums after that.

Thanks for these insights!
For Legacy (or Deftone?) there was once a kind of crossfire with track guessing in the car of a legendary label man. Dave Ingram and Peter Tägtgren were very taken with your music.
Were you already aware at that time that you would take off completely?

Oh, that’s the first time I’ve heard that. But it’s good to know. Taking off is always something you can only see in retrospect, if you want to.
At the moment it always felt more like small steps – but they always went persistently in one direction. To be honest, there was never such a moment of a huge explosion where suddenly 1000 people came to the shows instead of 100.
It was more like a slow step-by-step process, first 200, then 250, then 300 and so on. – I think the most important decision was to give the band the space it needed in your life.
We knew that you had to get beyond the “amateur band” stage if you were really going to continue to be serious about your career.
I think with the signing to Nuclear Blast in 2003 and the planning certainty of always having a good budget for studio recordings for the next few years, the time started when we all quit our jobs and just made music. We just played every tour and every show that was possible and from hindsight I would also say that by the release of “Riders On The Storm” we had brought the band to an economically viable level that allowed five people to live an existence as professional musicians. That’s why you still had to use water instead of bubbly to make coffee, but I remember very well that feeling of looking after yourself, not having a boss and having a sense of personal freedom that I never knew before.

I imagine that’s really great, lifelong congratulations on that.
Is this actually the only Ars Metalli release that has a year on it that actually matched reality?

I honestly don’t know, haha. But it’s nice that the EP was actually released between “Soft & Stronger” and “Allegro Barbaro” as planned, because it was supposed to be a kind of interlude.

There was an edition in red vinyl and then another black one. But that wasn’t planned, was it?

The red edition was sold out so quickly that we had to do another one. We never expected that, of course.

Does Ralph Siegel know this version of his world hit?

I don’t think so.

Do you still play live songs from the record today? And have you ever played in Mongolia?

We played “Dschinghis Khan” live for the last time in 2010. Things got a bit out of hand, because it seemed that some fans only came to the shows to chant “Dschinghis Khan, Dschinghis Khan” over and over again from the first to the last song – that got on our nerves so much that we pulled the ripcord.
Instead, we played “Ghostriders In The Sky” by Johnny Cash (actually, the song wasn’t written by him, but his version is considered the original by many).
The song also had a certain horse romanticism. It has been much more successful than D.K. – even today, this cover version of ours is always in the Top 5 of the most played equestrian songs on Spotify, etc. – and has been for years.

Unfortunately we never made it to Mongolia, but we dreamed of it many times. Since tours to Russia are probably out of the question for the near future, I honestly don’t think I’ll be making my long-planned trip to Beijing on the Transsib in the near future.
A stop in Mongolia was firmly planned and I would certainly have taken along a “Dschinghis
Khan” EP and buried it in the sacred Mongolian steppe. (Just brilliant – m.) But somehow I will surely manage that one day.

You like to listen to the music from the early days, don’t you? I find it incredibly charming.

Maybe once a year. Mostly in the course of doing interviews where it’s about the past. Or when I wrote the band bio – 20 years of D.A.R.. The old music probably also serves as a catalyst for your own brain, because the old music makes you remember things that seem like a long time ago. The rough, chaotic and, from today’s point of view, sometimes somewhat strange way of composing always strikes me.
But Skell always had the motto that there should be no parts where you have moderate passages for more than 30 seconds before you bludgeon and play blast beats again. In this respect, our songwriting was always a bit in the “bludgeoning corset” back then. But yes, it’s absolutely authentic and very charming.

For me, “Soft & Stronger” in particular is also a life-accompanying soundtrack for new beginnings.
From the very first bar, the album radiates unbridled optimism and joie de vivre.
And with that the interview ends, and I say

Nature and Books – Interview with FORNHEM

The lovely label Trollmusic only releases good to excellent albums anyway, but I’m particularly taken with the Swedes from FORNHEM with their new album “Stämman Från Berget”.
High time for an interview with the band, and my interviewer will introduce himself right away.

According to Metal Archives, you didn’t release a demo before the first album. How the hell did you get the record deal with Thor, how did you apply?

This is Solbane (various instruments) speaking to you most of the time in this interview. Vafthrudner (words & rhythm) also talks a bit.
Well, the story behind getting a deal with Troll music is quite simple really.
Vafthrudner and I decided that we didn’t want to make a demo and be under control from a label and be told what to do or not and you’ll get such and such amount of money to record and so on.
Basically, we said let’s record this album with our own money that we know is going to be so good that if no label liked it we could release it on our own. We have never thought about selling a lot of albums and becoming a “big” band or anything. We do the music for ourselves because we have something in us that we like to express, kind of like a creative outlet for the black holes in our souls… if anyone likes our music, we consider that a welcomed bonus. The goal is the music in itself, to create and record.
All that being said, I think Thor and Trollmusic has really worked out great for us. We feel like we have a good, healthy collaboration going! We are surely looking forward to do album number three and four, see if we can shock anyone, or at least raise some eyebrows…

I have to express my excitement once again: The pumping, pounding drums, the wonderfully shimmering guitars and the grating vocals – it sounds very far from modern studio sound and more like 1996.
How old are you actually?

The sound of our albums are very much calculated and intentional.
We surely get some criticism for the sound. “Fornhem has got awful sound” some say, but that is completely untrue! We have a GREAT sound for what we want to achieve! The thing about music is that at least half the experience is the sound, the production. So, can you imagine what a catastrophe it would be if we had a modern plastic over-produced sound? (I can imagine, but I don’t want to! – merula)
It would be horrible. I would be dead against releasing such a product with Fornhem.
I’m not sure that age has anything to do with the sound or the music. Maybe it does? We are three different persons in the band and of different ages with about ten years in between every band member… I grew up in the 70s, maybe that gives an explanation to why the music sounds like it does?
Some people have also expressed that we sound more like a norwegian band than a swedish band. Why is that? Maybe because we have listened mostly to the norwegian bands in our lives? I mean, Bathory are from Sweden but the other bands aren’t strong enough or great enough compared to the norwegian ones. (Hui!)
Do we do it intentionally? Well, I have a view in my head on how I want it to sound. But I don’t sit around with my guitar thinking “how can I play it more norwegian?”… That doesn’t qualify as creative work! Haha!

Do you want to keep your personalities completely out of the music, or do you want to reveal who you are and what you do for a living?

Not completely, but we want to keep out irrelevant stuff like family, favourite ice cream and such, haha! I think that we can talk about what kind of persons we are and maybe if we do something interesting in our spare time that can bring light to the creation of our music. Ok? Vafthrudner and I are, I dare say, old and bitter men with the world on our shoulders.
Love to read. I personally have a huge love for music in general (not including manufactured easy listening types of music you hear on radio and on top lists). Thuleman is the breath of fresh air in the stale black metal universe! He is still young and full of energy, very active in music and arranging concerts and so on, always has a joke up his sleeve, but who doesn’t!?

Well, there are quite a few. It’s nice that you’re more relaxed.
From above, the area around Norrköping looks great, a lot of nature. Do you guys go fishing, hiking and mushroom hunting, or do you focus your senses on the music alone?

It is a surrounding with quite a lot of nature; forests, lakes, mountains. As I said earlier we are three different people but I think we all appreciate being out in nature. Nature freshens your mind, blows out the cobwebs, makes you come alive in a sense, especially if you’ve been in the city for a long time. The city certainly is a great cause for mental illnesses and diseases.
I personally, don’t need much to be creative. Let me near a bookcase of great books to read and have a cup of tea and a couple of guitars nearby, sooner or later it will result in me creating music!

What a sympathetic attitude! Even though not everyone can live in nature, I can absolutely understand that.
“Ett Fjärran Kall” was your debut album from 2017, may I ask how long you worked on it in total (songwriting, lyrics, band rehearsals, recording)?

If memory serves me right we started working on the songs in 2014 and recorded in 2015. After that it took some time to find a record deal and after that it took some time for cover art and so on. And finally a record company has its schedule on when to release it’s titles. All of that contributed to make it a long process from the first ideas to the finished and released album.

In songs like “Úrdjupets svärta” you seem to have a passion for folklore. Do you like Garmarna or also Hedningarna, or do you orientate yourselves, if at all, on original folklore?

If you mean traditional music or folk music, then yes! I like both those bands but there are alot of folkmusic based bands out there. I used to listen to stuff like Skyclad and The Corrs when I was younger and in Sweden we have loads of old bands that embraced the northern traditional/folk music in the 70s.
I strongly recommend you to check out Kebnekaise (who are still active and make albums!).
Recently I also discovered Barbora Xu who is a lady playing various citterns and singing in finnish. Very expressive, minimalistic and most importantly not plastic. (Very good tip!!! – merula)
Other than that; black metal has a long tradition of adding folk music elements to it; Bathory obviously, early Ulver, Isengard, Kampfar, early Satyricon and Enslaved of course. Obviously there are more bands out there but I don’t know every band in the universe so… that being said, I like folk music, classical, medieval and renaissance too without modern influences.



There are four years between your two albums so far. Do you generally work at a medium pace and have been working on new songs bit by bit all this time, or were you busy with completely different things and then suddenly started again a few months ago?

We work a bit slow I think. But you need to understand that Vafthrudner and I have played together since 2013 (in Fördärv first and then in Fornhem) and we just kept plowing, making songs, rehearsing, recording and releasing in a seemingly endless cycle. But after the release of “Ett fjärran kall” we both were exhausted and needed time off. We started rehearsing for the second album in 2018. But this thing called life comes in between from time to time. And since we were only two persons, we have to wait for each other because none of us could finish alone without the other. But since Thuleman joined it will get easier. Because then, if 2 can go on for a time without the third then we will and the third person can catch up whenever he’s ready, no problems.

As much as I like “Ett Fjärran Kal”, “Stämman Från Berget” is a considerable further development. The sound sounds much more differentiated, you also seem to gain more experience in songwriting.
The slowly building guitar melody of “Den Längsta Dagen” develops into an absolute earworm!
Would you like to comment on the album?

Well, first off; thanks for hearing the quality of our music! We have worked considerably on songwriting.
I remember I analysed the first album and asked myself – what is good and what can be improved? One of those things was to simplify song structures, they needed less abrupt changes and more smooth progression.
One of our goals is to create atmosphere and minimalism and you can’t do that if you are too abrupt or play passages too short. I think we succeeded in getting longer lines in the music, creating the meditational atmosphere we long for but it can always be even better.
Melody, as you mention, is also important. For me, hooks and memorable riffs and melodies are very important. If there is no melody or good catchy riff, then there is no song.
If you don’t remember anything from listening to a song or an album, then it’s a failure. I work hard to create music that draws you in and stays with you after it’s passed. I think Fornhem is pretty good at it as a whole but we can still develop and progress even more and further! Just wait for album #3, it will be something special!

I’m very happy to wait and I’m already excited!
One can learn a bit about your lyrics from the booklet, but for those who are unfamiliar with the Swedish language, could you tell us something more about your lyrics, or some of them?
The question now goes to Vafthrudner, who writes all the texts.

Well, on this album there are four lyrics (the fifth track, Untergang, is instrumental) and they all tell different stories while at the same time manage to melt together in some ways.
The first track, Den Längsta Dagen (The Longest Day) is based on Ingmar Bergman’s film, The Seventh Seal from 1957 which takes place during the medieval times.
A knight returns home to Sweden/Scandinavia after fighting ten years in the Holy Land for the church.
During this time he has lost his faith in God and back home there is a plague going on. In a really poetic way he makes a deal with Death, who comes to collect him, to postpone his demise while they play a game of chess.
This track, aswell as the movie, is not so much about losing one’s faith but the fear of death/the unknown.
The second track, Utharba Spa (old Norse: “I predict ruin”), is an imaginative interpretation of a runic stone in the south of Sweden which is quite unique since it contains a curse (the song title). In modern Swedish, this phrase translates to “Jag spår fördärv” and since Fördärv was the name of the project which me and Solbane started up with, releasing the EP The Echo of Emptiness in 2013 and the full length Between the Eternities in 2014, I thought it would be fitting to use this here, also because, in my opinion, there is a lot of Fördärv musicwise in this track.
The third track, Förlist (“shipwrecked”), was initially about a ship going under in a storm.
Since I am born and bred by the coast I´ve always been fascinated by nautical themes. But the lyrics turned into something deeper as the ship/boat is portrayed as a vessel which harbour the spirit on the way through life; an image you can find in a variety of mythologies.
I used a bit of Norse references in this one but I see this kind of symbolism as something universal.
The fourth and final track (with lyrics that is), Stämman från Berget (The voice from the mountain) is based on the opening chapters of Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra” where the hermit Zarathustra descends from the mountain where he has been living for ten years to tell the people that “God is dead”.
I see this declaration of Nietzsche as somewhat of a starting point of our modern, secularised Western society and I think this song concludes the album in a perfect way since it somewhat mirrors the first song; in Den Längsta Dagen there is a faithful knight who has been fighting for the cause of God in the isolated desert for ten years and then loses his faith while also facing death.
In Stämman från Berget a hermit concludes after ten years (note; same time span) of isolation (the mountain) that God is dead (if he ever existed that is) and this “new knowledge” will undoubtedly lead to desperation in the people’s search for the meaning of life and fear of death.

Thank you Vafthrudner for these deep insights into your work.
Do you also play live, or do you plan to?
Solbane is back again.

We have no immediate plans so far but we are open to possibilities. Right now we don’t have any plans on playing live but we are not against it. It needs some planning and rehearsing, and we also need to look at a possible live line-up since we need to be at least a five-piece band live.
I have to say though, that I have played live in the past in other bands and the actual time on stage is most of the time the moment you live for and appreciate, unless something goes horribly wrong.
But everything around it is a hassle and eats your energy up. So, that means it’s important for us that the circumstances for us to play live in the future are good to minimise exhaustion and feelings of it being more or less meaningless. Basically, what I’m talking about is that I’m too old (and too cold?) to tour around in a mini bus, playing for a case of beer and petrol money… haha!

Then maybe you should try the “Alt-Fränkische Landbier”, I discovered it a few days ago and am totally thrilled.
But above all: men, thank you very much for your effort!

Thank you for this interview! We liked this because it was a bit different than the usual interviews we get. Great to talk about the music more than ideology for once. To the readers I would like to say; if you’ve come this far in reading then, thank you! Support Fornhem by buying and listening to our music. Spread the word to others that you think may appreciate our raw music!
Over and out, scream and shout! Cheers from Solbane and Vafthrudner. Thuleman says hi too!