The Mighty Return of Himinbjorg

After an hiatus of five years time, Himinbjorg has returned with their most personal, yet most powerful recording to date.  Chants d’Hier, Chants de Guerre, Chants de la Terre has been released on their own European Tribes label, and is surely Pagan Metal in it’s finest hour.  How featuring just founding member Zahaah and session musicians, Himinbjorg is more focused than ever on what they wish to achieve with their music.  Here is an interview we conducted with Zahaah about the new album, their rich history, and the Ethno-political themes which surround the recording…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Himinbjorg, and how long the band has been together.
Hi, I’m Zahaah from the one-man-band Himinbjorg. Himinbjorg was born in 1996 as a band in the beginning, today I work with session musicians for recordings and concerts.

Where is the band based out of and what is the local metal/music scene like there?
I live at the base of a mountain in France near Switzerland. There are much metal bands around but few are interesting.

Why was there a silence of three years before the creation of this new album. Did Himinbjorg contemplate breaking up?
We needed to make a break after 10 years of hard work devoted to the band. We had to move on, and to go forward in life someplace else than a gig stage. Then Mathrien left the band to work on his own projects. And I wanted to take my time to work quietly on a new album which I would be totally satisfied with, which is actually the case !

What made you decide to self release this title and will there be any other bands released on your European Tribes label..
Labels were going through serious financial problems and had nothing interesting to offer me anymore. It is now time for me to build a structure of my own to become totally independant and drag myself out out of the commercial system fallacies.

Please comment on your Ethno-political themes and how it affects your new music, and your overall perception of modern day society?
Himinbjorg’s music has always been a spiritual and ethnical work. Today I have children, and I put my spirituality in motion everyday to try not to let globalist politicians and bankers eradicate the ancestral knowledge of peoples through moralism and laws. A people that stands is an obstacle to the New World Order, traditionnal knowledge is then considered a threat to their system which enslaves human beings more and more, day after day. I just go on studying my ancestor’s knowledge and try to pass it on.

Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Chants d’Hier, Chants de Guerre, Chants de la Terre?
« Songs of old, songs of war, songs of the land » : yes, the title sets forth the pagan knowledge of our ancestors, that of Earth’s magic, to bring on today’s fight.

Please cite two songs on the new CD and what inspired you to write the lyrics?
« Songe de l’elfe » (The elve’s thinking) tells of moments of meditation on my land, when I feel the energy of nature and of my ancestors go through me. This gentle and nourishing strength is the one that turns to fighting rage during battle. I tell of this so I can clearly distance my paganism from the poison of christian so-called religions that paralyse the soul to control it effectively.
« Contre vents et marées » (Against the winds and the tides) tells of how throughout my curious existence I always managed to find my way, which led me to the woman that became my wife. She made me stronger and toughened me in my fights, this is the subject of this song!

When you listen back to your earlier work such as Where Raven’s Fly and In The Raven’s Shadow, what do you think of it now?
I love them, if you read through the lyrics you’ll understand that at that time I was focused on my spiritual work and my initiation. Listen to Himinbjorg’s albums from the begining and you’ll read the book of my life !

Has Himinbjorg ever played here in the States or do you plan to do so in the future?
We nearly played there in 1999 in a big gig next the Great Lakes thanks to Redstream, but unfortunately it did not happen. Today I’m not sure the american administration will let me in its territory as long as I work against its propaganda.

How do you feel about the current state of the world Black Metal and Pagan Metal scenes and do you feel like your band is part of these scenes at all?
As in every domain most bands are uninteresting and are just by-products of metal music : they’re clowns. On the other hand I’m still amazed with artists like Ulver, Attila and Mayhem, Arcturus, Helheim, Burzum…
Regarding Himinbjorg, I hope the music I play has a real meaning.

Do you still keep in touch with any of the past Himinbjorg members?
Yes, especially with Mathrien, because our spirits are linked.

It’s been awhile since our last interview, so introduce the newest Himinbjorg members and what bands they’ve previously been in?
I’m the only permanent member of Himinbjorg for now. People that took a part in the new album’s recording are all friends who came to help.

What would you like a listener to remember after hearing Chants d’Hier, Chants de Guerre, Chants de la Terre for the very first time?
I’d like him to remember the nice melodies that caressed his ears, and that there is a soul fighting to save a world behind these melodies.

Favorite quote?
Break down but don’t bend.

Any messages for longtime Himinbjorg fans here in the US?
I’m happy to see people from your country write to me to say Himinbjorg still matters for them. This reminds me of good times when I was working with redstream.

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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