Heilung Live at the Riviera
Photos © 2020 by: Roman Sobus
“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.
Check out more live photos here!
HEILUNG North America Tour
09 Jan 20 Los Angeles, CA (US) The Novo DTLA
11 Jan 20 San Francisco, CA (US) The Regency Ballroom (Sold out!)
13 Jan 20 Portland, OR (US) The Roseland Ballroom (Sold Out!)
17 Jan 20 Denver, CO (US) The Ogden Theater (Sold Out!)
20 Jan 20 Chicago, IL (US) Riviera Theatre
22 Jan 20 Washington, DC (US) The Fillmore Silver Spring (Sold Out!)
24 Jan 20 New York, NY (US) Webster Hall (Sold Out!)
26 Jan 20 Montreal, QC (CA) L’Olympia
29 Jan 20 New York, NY (US) Webster Hall Ballroom
18 Feb 20 York (UK) Descended from Odin Festival (Exact date TBA)
10 Apr 20 Rouen (FR) Le 106
12 Apr 20 Toulouse (FR) Echos Et Merveilles Festival
16 May 20 Metz (FR) Cire Musicale -Bam
10 Jun 20 Krakow (PL) Mystic Festival 2020 (Exact date TBA)
11 Jun 20 Nickelsdorf (AT) Nova Rock 2020 (Exact date TBA)
19 Aug 20 Bergen (NO) Beyond the Gates
20 Aug 20 St.-Nolff (FR) Motocultor Festival 2020 (Exact date TBA)