Midgardsblot Metal festival is an open air festival which takes place in the Borre park near the small town of Horten, in Norway. Midgard – in the park of Borre, is where the mighty rulers of the Norwegian Vikings lived, feasted, and was laid to rest and the park was a headquarters for power and culture in the Iron – and Viking age. The park has several great grave mounds and the great viking hall at Borre, Gildehallen, is a unique reconstruction of a great mead hall for the viking aristocracy.
This year’s addition of the festival features the special work SKUGGSJÁ, a thrilling and tempestuous collaboration between Wardruna and Enslaved. It was originally conceived as a commissioned musical work written by Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik for the Eidsivablot festival as a part of the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian constitution.
– When planning Eidsivablot we asked Ivar and Einar to write a musical piece and they came up with the masterpiece of SKUGGSJÁ, Runa, head of Midgardsblot festival, explains.
– Eidsivablot has now developed into Midgardsblot and to have Skuggsjá headlining this year’s festival with both Enslaved and Wardruna is a great honor to us. Set by the grave mounds of Borre and the Gildehall I feel like we put SKUGGSJÁ where it was always meant to be.
By highlighting ideas, traditions and instruments of their Norse past, SKUGGSJÁ speak of the history of Norway and reflect relevant aspects from the past into our present day. Using metal instrumentation as well as some of Scandinavia’s oldest instruments and poetry in Norse and Norwegian, ‘Skuggsjá’ represents a fusion between past and present, both lyrically and musically. Skuggsjá is a furious journey into the dark reaches of Norwegian history. A counterweight to the enshrining of Christianity as the national religion and a harsh light on the atrocities committed in its name, its white-knuckle journey through innumerable musical moods is also a reminder of the rich pagan culture that was lost as a result.
2016 will also mark 25 years of Enslaved, and will also perform a special concert at the festival, focusing on different periods of the band’s long career. Midtgardsblot takes place from August 18th. – 20th.
You can also check experience Skuggsjá at London By Norse in London, from March 17 – 20. Head over to their Facebook event for more info.