For Norwegian Folk Metallers ELVARHØI choosing the 30th October to release their long-awaited debut full-length album “Dansen låter fra graven åter” was a no brainer, because fifteen years ago to the day is when the band itself was formed.
To celebrate the impeding release ELVARHØI have debuted a video for a track from the album. Titled “Vertshuset Dovregubben” the video is in the form of a fascinating screen capture of the work of artist Even Mehl Amundsen, taking the viewer through the process he underwent to create the beautifully detailed cover art for “Dansen låter fra graven åter”.
The video can be seen here:
The single can also be purchased or streamed at: https://elvarhoi.fanlink.to/dovregubben
The track itself tells the story of a plucky youngster who, one especially cold winter night, comes across an invitingly warm tavern, filled to overflowing with all sorts of characters and strange artefacts. Here he witnesses his first hangin – that of a fiddler accused of possessing the good people of the town. As the noose tightens, it generates a tone that resonates within the fiddle, which starts to play on its own, and before his mind’s eye the fiddler can see the long afterlife amongst the hills that awaits him, and all the others in the room.
It may seem that fifteen years is a long incubation period for a debut album, but during its making ELVARHØI underwent a journey filled with doubt, dispossession and ultimately death and defeat. But with determination the band have come up with “Dansen låter fra graven åter”, an album of which its members can be rightly proud.
Produced by the band and recorded between the winter of 2017 and the summer of 2019 at Rönnhögen Lydvær, ELVARHØI’s home studio in the Swedish woods, with additional recording at Studio Hemstad in Holter, it was mixed by Markus Skroch at the Kalthallen Studio and mastered by Magnus «Devo» Andersson (MARDUK) at his Endarker Studio. With artwork by Even Mehl Amundsen and photos by Marcus Eriksson, tracklisting for «Dansen låter fra graven åter» is as follows:
- Hva er en konge?
- Det grå riket
- Vertshuset Dovregubben
- Tilbake til intet
- Kalde netter
ELVARHØI’s lineup of Christopher Rakkestad (RAGNAROK, JORDSKIPSTYRANN) on Bass & Vocals, Magnus Wandås on the Hardanger Fiddle, Sean Murphy on Flutes, Carl Engstrøm (ASTAROTH, DØDSFALL, KVALVAAG, SARPEDON, TROLL, MOLOCH, to name but a few) on Drums, and Martin Langebraaten (SARPEDON, RAVEN WING, FROSTHEIM, SOLMUND) on Guitars, brings with it musicians whose backgrounds span Folk Metal and Extreme Metal, as well as traditional Norwegian and Celtic folk music. The band’s songs mirror the profane world in a language of Faerie and adventure, and the eclectic backgrounds of its members enables ELVARHØI to create a down-to-earth sound and style that is redolent of the golden age of Folk Rock, whilst bringing it firmly into the realm of modern Folk Metal.
The sound of the album is a joyous mix between the distinct timbre of Norwegian Folk Music and 70s Rock and Prog, draped over the bones of Heavy Metal. The songs range from triumphant metal anthems, to soft and lush “folk singer-esque” ballads. As songwriter and bassist, Christopher Rakkestad, explains:
When Elvarhøi started up in 2005 we concentrated on medieval ballads, with a focus on paying homage to the cultural heritage of the romantic era. We’ve had an incredibly long musical journey since then, where we held Norwegian folk music up against the backdrop of everything from Black Metal to contemporary music. “Dansen låter fra graven åter” bears the mark of this entire journey, and today we have become a band who boldly cross any musical boundary in order to tell the story we want to share. Our aim is to give something positive to the listener.
The title “Dansen låter fra graven åter” is a line from the debut single “Vertshuset Dovregubben” , in which the fiddler must die after having caused too much senseless revelry. And when the tune keeps playing from beyond the grave, that’s when the party finally kicks into the magical sixth gear. Magnus Wandås, fiddler and lyrical mastermind of the band, explains about the choice of title and the process the band went through to produce the album :
“Dansen låter fra graven åter” translates into something like ‘The dance continues from beyond the grave.’ A few years ago, we would have told you that this album, or any album, would never survive our work process. But we’re far too stubborn to quit, no matter how monumental the task is. And since we wholeheartedly believe in the strength of this material, we couldn’t ever let it go. This attitude could easily have been our downfall, but it must have proved to be a strength. Why? Because here we are, back from the grave and stronger than ever for having gone through the ordeal.
“Dansen låter fra graven åter” will be released by ELVARHØI’s own label Ramljod Records, in both Jewel Case CD format complete with a 24-page booklet, and digital format. It is now available to pre-order from https://elvarhoi.bandcamp.com
ELVARHØI will be debuting the new album live in Oslo on the 19th October at the Rock In. Details at https://www.facebook.com/events/396486787592019/