The Thirteenth Shelf

Music Theme: Norse Tracks

I really can’t participate in a reading event like #Norsevember if I don’t shoehorn in some post about music. Luckily, Norse culture has inspired many musical talents and their associated media forms. There is something about the mythology and the legendary image of Vikings that really inspires artists across many musical genres–much to our benefit.

Here are some of my favorties.

Best contemporary lyrics
Track: Led Zepplin – Immigrant Song

Come on.

Best artistic rendering and performance of traditional music
Track: Heilung – In Maidjan (LIVE)

I’ve covered Heilung before, but there was no way to avoid talking about them again during Norsevember. They’re a fantastic experimental folk performance group that pulls inspiration from Norse text and culture to sing some amazing songs and put on great shows.

Best Norse-inspired environmental ambient
Track: Danheim – Viking Mead Hall

A crackling fire, soft Old Norse conversations and gentle Scandinavian musical instruments combine to create a rare calming Viking ambience. The 2 hour track gets quieter over time, so as not to interrupt the readings of your grand Norsevember adventures.

Best Norse-inspired musical ambient
Track: Gaetir the Mountainkeeper – Norðr
This hypnotic ambient contains not only elements of ritual with thundering drums and vocals, but also the natural world, using music to recall primal icy mountains and wind-swept fjords.

Best Norse-inspired soundtrack
Album: Bear McCreary – God of War

This single-player game set in Midgard has a beautiful OST composed by none other than Bear McCreary, the talent behind Sci-Fi’s Battlestar Galatica’s amazing soundtracks.