“Invocation of the Nine-Horned God” is the third single from “Alkai”, the upcoming album of Lithuanian ritualistic dark-folk project Vėlių Namai, due for release on January 20, 2023.
Listen to “Invocation of the Nine-Horned God” here:
Band leader Julius Mitė commented:
The song “Invocation of the Nine-Horned God” is about an inner journey to the world of Elnias Devyniaragis: an ancient Lithuanian mythological creature. Also known as the nine-horned deer, Elnias Devyniaragis is a totem that carries celestial bodies – mostly the moon, but also the sun – on its antlers. Devyniaragis is mentioned in archaic songs as an allegory to the position of the heavenly bodies. It is said that a white deer runs away at the solstice and returns at Christmas. In some Baltic songs, the deer is also a symbol of the sun’s return, as the mythological deer holds the sun in its antlers.
Vėlių Namai – “Alkai”
“Alkai” is the fourth album of Lithuanian ritualistic dark-folk project Vėlių Namai. It serves as an open invitation to experience the mystical world of the Baltics – to feel the sacredness of its ancient past.
Draped in a sonic tapestry woven from a great variety of musical traditions, the listener is sent off on a hypnotic flight of the imagination. Ceremonial chanting and droning folk parts give way to a kind of otherworldly, trance-inducing techno performed with mostly organic instruments. As with the radically different music styles, digital and analogue sounds are fused together seamlessly. Pulsating minimalism merges with vocals and shamanic percussion to create a hypnotic soundscape coated by mesmerizing melodies played on guitars, lutes, and ethnic string instruments such as the Turkish baglama, Lithuanian kanklės and Latvian giga. This ambitious concoction boils down to an exquisite brew infused in equal parts with Dead Can Dance, Wardruna, Sigur Ros, and various electronic music.
“Alkai” will be released by Nordvis on CD-digipak and digital, January 20, 2023. The album features guest appearances by Espen Winther of Eldrim, Swedish-Serbian composer Petar Mrdjen, and prominent Lithuanian singer Liucija Nanartavičiūtė. Cover artwork by Joan Llopis Doménech.
Vėlių Namai can be translated as ‘Home of souls’. The main intention behind the project – studio recordings, live shows, and the underlying philosophies – is the deliberation of matters pertaining to life, death, and the spirit world. This exploration is conducted through the lens of ancient Baltic understandings and concepts about the afterlife.
The band was founded in 2006 by Julius Mitė, a Lithuanian musician who was based in Prague at that time. Over the years, what started as a solo endeavour evolved into a full line-up with the inclusion of guitarist Jokūbas Krasauskas and percussionist Gintaras Aleksandravičius. Prior to “Alkai”, Vėlių Namai released three albums: “Pasiklydę” (2009), “Laumių Šokis” (2016), and “Kúrir” (2018). Over the years, the band has performed in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Slovakia and Belarus. Vėlių Namai in concert is characterised by a strong emphasis on the visual and ritualistic aspects that aims to induce a trance-like state in the listener. Their performances always include incense, video projections, hundreds of candles, animal bones, make-up, ceremonial garb, and various old Baltic, Ivorian and Middle Eastern imagery.
Vėlių Namai invites you to experience the darker side of nature, and of existence itself. Tread the trail of spirits – shrouded in mists and mysticism – and touch the other side. Visit your true home in the realm beyond.
1 – Aftensinn (‘Evening Mood’)
2 – Væringjar – (‘The Varangians’)
3 – Bardo
4 – Vilkobelė – (‘The Hawthorn’)
5 – Miklagarðr – (‘The Great City’)
6 – Alkai
7 – Saulės Kalvis – (‘The Sun’s Blacksmith’)
8 – Paskandos – (‘The World Beyond the Water/Hell/Drowning’)
9 – Invocation of the Nine-Horned God
10 – The Plateau
11 – Nótt (‘The Night’)
Release date: January 20, 2023
Formats: CD, Digital