HEILUNG are now releasing the second track taken from their upcoming album ‘Futha’, which will be released on June 28, 2019. “Othan” is now streaming via Roadburn at the link below!
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). Find the full list of tour dates below.
21 Jun 19 Copenhagen (DK) Copenhell Festival 2019
29 Jun 19 Helsinki (FI) Tuska 2019
09 Aug 19 Jaromer (CZ) Brutal Assault
17 Aug 19 Borre (NO) Midgardsblot 2019
07 Sep 19 Selb (DE) Mediaval Festival 2019
19 Oct 19 Hameln (DE) Autumn Moon Festival 2019 (Exact date TBA)
18 Feb 20 York (UK) Descended from Odin Festival (Exact date TBA)
HEILUNG European tour
22 Oct 19 Palladium (PL) Warschau (tickets)
24 Oct 19 Berlin (DE) Admiralspalast (tickets)
26 Oct 19 Essen (DE) Colosseum Theater (tickets)
28 Oct 19 Munich (DE) Circus Krone (tickets)
30 Oct 19 Prague (CZ) Hybernia (tickets)
01 Nov 19 Halle (DE) Händelhalle (tickets)
03 Nov 19 Vienna (AT) Der Globe (tickets)
05 Nov 19 Zurich (CH) Volkshaus (tickets)
07 Nov 19 Kiel (DE) Kieler Schloss (tickets)
10 Nov 19 London (UK) Roundhouse (tickets)
14 Nov 19 Utrecht (NL) Tivoli Vredenburg (tickets)
17 Nov 19 Brussels (BE) AB (tickets)
20 Nov 19 Paris (FR) Elysée Montmartre (tickets)
06 Dec 19 Lviv (UA) Lviv State Circus (tickets)
08 Dec 19 Kyiv (UA) Center of Culture and Arts NAU (tickets)
The cover artwork and album details of ‘Futha’ can be viewed below.
“Ofnir” was a very masculine album. To create it, HEILUNG took a big part of the lyrics from preserved rune inscriptions on weapons and armour. “Futha” is the counterpart, the balance point, the feminine side. Here, the lyrics originate from old Icelandic poetry, in which the holy women chant magic spells and offer their blessings. Hence, female voices are more prominent on “Futha”.
HEILUNG means “healing” in the German language and this also describes the core of the band’s sound. The listener is supposed to be left at ease and in a relaxed state after a magical musical journey that is at times turbulent.
HEILUNG reach far back in time to the Northern European iron age and Viking period to create their sound experience. The band utilises many means in their songs: from running water via human bones, reconstructed swords and shields up to ancient frame drums as well as bronze rings.
When HEILUNG self-released ‘Ofnir’ in 2015, the Danish band could hardly have anticipated the breakthrough success of their debut album. Spectacular live shows, strong critical acclaim, and a massive underground buzz added to the constantly high demand for this full-length are the reason why their new label Season of Mist did not hesitate to re-issue ‘Ofnir’ in several collector’s edition formats. HEILUNG‘s live album, ‘LIFA’ (2017) was released in parallel.
The word “Futha” is taken from an artefact, that is still controversially discussed. Big names in runology like Düwel and Heizmann can agree neither on the deciphering nor the meaning of the description.…The word is engraved in a gold bracteate from Skåne (SE), which was produced around 500-530 AD. It was discovered in 1831 and these medals or coins were divided into different categories by the Swedish archaeologist Oscar Montelius. The bracteate in question is a so-called C-bracteate named Schonen II-C (Schonen is the German Name of Skåne) with a horse and a face. The rune inscription is between the hind-legs of the horse. Interesting to mention here is the fact that the majority of full rune set inscriptions start with “futh“, which also is the first three 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 a surplus of theories. This brings us to a runic staff found in Bergen, which was given the rather unpoetic archaeological classification B011. It carries the inscription: “felleg er fuþ sin bylli Fuþorglbasm”, which means: “Lovely is the cunt, may the cock fill it up”. Also interesting is that the Högstena amulet, which we use in the song “Galgaldr”, has an alternative deciphering of the word “futh“, which in this context means “cunt”. All this leaves us with two hints: magic potential and the female genitalia. The great healing power of the female wild strength is evoked in “Futha”. Those who have been present at a birth or seen a lioness hunting, know the spirit. The spirit of the “wilde Weiber” (German), the wild wise women. “Futha” endeavours to connect to a time before the female was degraded to a birth-machine and carrier of eternal inherited guilt.
“Futha” was three years in the making and was finished for production and print at midwinter, the very darkest day of the solar year, the 21st in the 12th month at 21:00.
Any attempt to link the band with or bring their music into a modern political or religious context is pointless, since HEILUNG try to connect their listeners with a time before the coming of Christianity and modern political ideologies.
Kai Uwe Faust