Having remained largely silent since the release of their 2013 LP 'Kveikur', Sigur Rós are now back to announce the details behind a new orchestral album, arriving later this year.
The new full-length 'Odin's Raven Magic' has been recorded in collaboration with Icelandic music legend Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson (who is also ordained ‘chief goði’ of the pagan Norse religion Ásatrúarfélagið), as well as Steindór Andersen, a fisherman and one of Iceland’s most respected chanters of traditional epic narrative. It is being previewed by the new lead single 'Dvergmál', and is set to be released on the 4th December through Krunk, via Warner Classics.
The work grew out of Hilmarsson’s long-standing fascination with one particular chapter of Iceland’s Medieval literary canon known as the Edda, entitled Hrafnagaldur Óðins, or Odin’s Raven Magic, named after the Norse god’s two ravens, that flew over the Earth to survey and bring information back to him. The poem recounts a banquet held by the gods, in which ominous signs foretell the end of the world of both gods and men. In 1867 the poem was judged to be a fake, but then in 2002, scholars re-ratified it as an official 14th century addition to the Edda.
Speaking about the poem, Hilmarsson said, “Hrafnagaldur Óðins has lots of interpretation and implications that fire up the imagination… It’s a very visual poem, with images all about falling down, and a world freezing from north to south. It was an apocalyptic warning. Perhaps the people of the time felt it in their skins. Today, of course, Iceland is involved in environmental issues surrounding hydro-electric power and the destruction of the highlands. We are being warned again.”
Have a listen to 'Dvergmál' in the player and see the album's full tracklisting below.
'Odin's Raven Magic' Tracklist:
2. Alföður orkar
4. Stendur æva
5. Áss hinn hvíti
6. Hvert stefnir
7. Spár eða spakmál