Heilung, Ivar Bjørnson & Einar Selvik and more at Midgards Viking Centre (2019)
Midgards Viking Centre (Borre, Norway)
Heilung, Ivar Bjørnson & Einar Selvik, Enslaved, Deicide, Gaahls Wyrd, Memoriam, Tormentor, Vreid, Einherjer, Ereb Altor, Zuriaake, Urarv, Whip, Byrdi, Vóluspá, Sindri, Gåte
August 15, 2019
One of the most unique aspects of this festival is its location; situated on the shores of one of the famed Norwegian fjords, Borre seems to be just a small fleck on the map at first glance. Even in person, you might be forgiven for not thinking much of the place if you're just passing through. The verdant meadows lined with oak and birch trees and gently undulating hillocks seems unspectacular at first. Yet this place that so many from all over the world have come to call home is redolent in history, pulsing with its own power, seeped in Norse history, culture, and magic that is still very much present today. The unassuming hills are in reality ship mounds, marking the location of the graves of prominent vikings. A few hundred meters inland, you find the Midgard Viking Centre, a museum dedicated to the rich history of this beautiful corner of Norway. Here, informative exhibits transport you back to a bygone age, giving you a glimpse of everyday life hundreds of years ago. A short walk brings you to the Gildenhalle, a viking longhouse, painstakingly reconstructed to resemble original longhouses as closely as possible. And it is at this incomparable location where once a year MIDGARDSBLOT festival takes place.
Back once more was GAAHL'S WYRD, delivering an intense and relentless set. With their show starting directly after the opening blot ceremony, spirits were already running high as the band took to the stage, making for an unforgettable performance, despite the early slot. This was followed by TORMENTOR, who absolutely shredded the audience with their voracious sound. Also much beloved were FOLKET BARTAFOR NORDAVINDEN, who are an undeniable force to be reckoned with, and had a series of stellar performances over all three days of the festival. However, undeniably the band that most were looking forward to on Thursday was HUGSJÁ / SKUGGSJÁ, a project formed by two leviathans in the scene: Ivar Bjørnson of ENSLAVED and Einar Selvik of WARDRUNA, and which originally arose through a collaboration the two artists did for the first ever instance of MIDGARDSBLOT. Whilst this was the first ever performance of this project at MIDGARDSBLOT, this was also one of the most anticipated shows at this year's installment of the festival, and they certainly did not disappoint. With very talented guest musicians joining them on stage, HUGSJÁ / SKUGGSJÁ wove a rich sonic tapestry that soon had everyone present completely spellbound.
More photos can be found here.