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Icelandic and Norse Music

Icelandic and Norse Music - traditional, folk-rock and new age - is undergoing a considerable revival, just as is traditional Celtic music.

Filled with wild fiddling, incredibly powerful vocals, dark imagery from ancient Norse mythology, and modern instrumentation and technique, it's a wild and woolly ride with these modern Vikings.

Buy Norse and Icelandic Music CDs
Wizard Women of the North
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The Wizard Women of the North (1999)
Various Artists


Talented Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish women musicians perform a variety of traditional and new age music from the North including fiddling, incredible vocals and beautiful lyrics (not in English!). A terrific sampling of the folk music revival in Scandinavia today.
Sjofn - Gjallarhorn
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Sjofn (2000)
Gjallarhorn


Gjallarhorn perform acoustic traditional Swedish ballads and dance tunes with a contemporary twist and the distinctive sound of a didgeridoo (obviously non-Swedish!). Jenny Wilhelms sings beautifully and plays a mean fiddle. Nordic mythology with a distinctively modern interpretation.
Vengeance - Garmarna
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Vengeance (1999)
Garmarna


We're quoting Chris Nickson here (Amazon's reviewer) because he says it so well: "It's the third Garmarna album, fulfilling every promise they'd made on their first two records. The ancient and modern achieve an almost perfect balance here, the original material sounding as if it should be centuries old. Blood, guts, violence, love, they're all here, every aspect of the human condition. While the band conjures up musical magic, it's [Emma] Härdelin who emerges as the sorceress, the true star, with a voice that just seems to bewitch." The new Vikings with a vengeance!

Other Garmarna CDs include:
Garmarna (1993, remastered 2001)
Vittrad (1994)
God's Musicians (1996)
Hildegard von Bingen (2001) Folk-rock meets 12th century mystic and makes it work! Emma sings in Latin.
1989 - 2003 Hedningarna
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1989-2003 (2003)
Hedningarna


"Hedningarna ("Heathens") was and remains in the vanguard of the Nordic folk revival. Their sound incorporates droning fiddles, hurdy-gurdies, and plucked instruments of medieval vintage, plus Sami yoiks (an indigenous Scandinavian vocal style not unlike Native American chanting) and repetitive, alliterative Finnish folk verses sung by vehement, sharp-edged female voices..." - amazon.com.

Modern instrumentation and electronics take on ancient Norse mythology, very powerful and often dark - an acquired taste but worth a listen. Lots of great fiddling.
Nordic Roots : Northside Sampler
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Nordic Roots: Northside Sampler (1998)
Various Artists


One of several "Nordic Roots" albums featuring top-notch Scandinavian artists in the folk and folk-rock arena. A great way to check out groups like Hedningarna, Gamarna, and many others performing traditional music in modern ways.
Rheingold Curse - Sequentia
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The Rheingold Curse: A Germanic Saga of of Greed and Revenge from the Medieval Icelandic Edda(2002)
Sequentia


The Sequentia Orchestra is world-famous for their renditions of ancient and medieval music. Here they bring the ancient Icelandic sagas to life through words and music. Weird and wonderful.

Sequentia has a companion CD entitled Edda - An Icelandic Saga - Myths From Medieval Iceland - which has some downloads you can listen to, including a snippit of Song of Fire and Ice.