he cover artwork and album details of 'Futha'
Arts & Culture

HEILUNG Premiere New Song, “Othan,” via Roadburn

HEILUNG have partnered with Roadburn to premiere their new song, “Othan,” which is the second single from their upcoming album, ‘Futha.’

The band comments: “Heilung, in collaboration with Roadburn, proudly presents ‘Othan!’ This is one of the compositions that, in a Heilung context, might appear as a relaxed song. Nevertheless, it contains ancient combat protection spells and Odin, the highest northern god, appears as the lord of war.

“The first part is a combination of spells from bracteates, which is very hard to grasp or translate. These pendants or coins were produced mostly during the migration period up until the 7th century AD in northern Europe. They were mostly made from Roman gold, which the Germanic tribes received as peace money. The inscriptions are still discussed controversially amongst rune researchers. Some clues that hint towards the words leek, ale or a cuckoo can be traced, but most of the time it seems to be very difficult to grasp a meaningful sense in the inscriptions.

“Although the High One enjoys war, he also indulges in poetry. ‘Othan’ therefore has a second part where the white mistress of incantations recites the words that the High One gave to man: A spell sung under the shields to bless them and protect the warriors (Hávámal, stanza 156). In the third part the mood gets darker and we have now reached the point of an active combat spell. The power to stop an arrow in its flight is invoked (Hávamál stanza 150).

“After that the name of the highest Nordic god is repeated in a wolfish, barking mantra, partly to transport the feeling, that the ancient Nordic warrior groups often perceived themselves as animal packs. This is for example described by Ibrahim Ibn Yaqub, a 10th century traveller and merchant, who writes that the people of Hedeby were singing in a barking manner.'”

On the meaning of the album title, HEILUNG comment: “The majority of full rune set inscriptions start with ‘Futha’, and is known to us as the first four letters in all runic alphabets. It is considered that our forefathers saw magic potential in engraving the full rune line, but there is also great significance in the beginnings. Science has no key for the meaning of only engraving the first couple of letters yet, but there is, of course, a surplus of theories. One of the theories we found inspiration in, is that ‘Futha’ holds the meaning of fertility and female gender. As ‘Ofnir’ focused on war and masculine notions, the great healing power of female wild strength is evoked in Futha. Those who have been present at a birth or have seen lionesses hunting know the spirit, and we welcome and embrace it in the sounds that were born during the creation of ‘Futha’.”

HEILUNG have previously announced a European tour in October and November this year. The tour will kick off on October 22nd in Warsaw (PL) and will end about a month later in Paris (FR).

HEILUNG festivals
06/21: Copenhagen (DK) @ Copenhell Festival 2019
06/29: Helsinki (FI) @ Tuska 2019
08/09: Jaromer (CZ) @ Brutal Assault
08/17: Borre (NO) @ Midgardsblot 2019
09/07: Selb (DE) @ Mediaval Festival 2019
10/19: Hameln (DE) @ Autumn Moon Festival 2019 (Exact date TBA)
02/18/20: York (UK) @ Descended from Odin Festival (Exact date TBA)

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Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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