Norway's unlikely chart-toppers, Wardruna. Photo: wardruna.com
The brainchild of Einar Kvitrafn Selvik, the band uses traditional Nordic instruments to interpret runes, singing in Norwegian and Old Norse.
While that hardly sounds like a recipe for commercial success, the producers of the popular TV programme ‘Vikings’ came across Wardruna’s music and decided to not only feature it heavily in the show but to also offer Selvik a role.
The band has now ridden its new-found exposure all the way to the top of the international music charts. In the new Billboard ’World Albums’ chart, Wardruna’s third album ‘Runaljod Ragnarok’ sits in the number one spot in its first week of release.
The album is the final entry in the band’s ‘Runaljod’ trilogy based on the 24 runes in the oldest known runic alphabet.
“Some of the recordings are done outdoors in places or under circumstances of significance to each rune,” the band writes on its website.
“Wardruna primarily use old and historical instruments such as primitive deer-hide frame drums, Kraviklyra, tagelharpe, mouth harp, goat horn, lur and more. Non-traditional instruments and other sources of sound like trees, rocks, water and torches are also used,” it adds.
Hear Norway’s newest chart-topping band here: