The Evocative Artistry of Himinbjorg
Conceived in 1996 by Zahaah, Himinbjorg has always presented their own exhilarating visions on dark metal, always unveiling albums displaying personal lyrical reflections and super intensive melodies. Wyrd is perhaps the finest hour of Himinbjorg, a captivating collection of sonic artistry that will set the imagination in flight. Wyrd is being launched onto the scene via European Tribes in France and Vegvisir internationally and is well worth seeking out. We recently had a chance to interview founding member Zahaah to find out more about the staggering Wyrd and the history of the intriguing Himinbjorg. Our adventure shall now commence…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Himinbjorg, and how long the band has been together.
Hello I am Zahaah the only permanent member of Himinbjorg that has been created since 1997. I have composed and recorded all the instruments in studio except drums. Himinbjorg has a live band consisting of musician friends who come to play with me in session on stage where I play bass and vocals.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal scene like there?
We live in the east of France in the mountains near Switzerland. To me, the remarkable French bands, active or not, are Supuration (or SUP) which produces a highly charged spiritual music, Forbidden Site , Year of No Light. Apart from them the French bands merely copy what play northern and American bands, In less well. There are many pagan bands , black , heavy.
Is there any story or concept behind the Wyrd title?
I named the album “Wyrd” because I think it sets a very evocative expression of the form that may take the completion of Wyrd in my life. The Wyrd is the way, the structure, the fate of the German soul as well as its laws , it is the German experience of the cosmos.
This album traces the spiritual journey that is mine. It recounts various stages crossed by my mind and which are all learning experiences, as potential pitfalls that the mind can indefinitely turn in loop in my mind. I’ve always done things in my way and life events give me the feeling that everything was written in advance. The way itself this album has been realized is irrational, it is the perfect illustration .
Select two songs from Wyrd and what inspired the lyrics.
“The World of Men Without Virtue – The Circle of Disillusion ” speaks about all these greedy beings that crush others and rule the world, and all who comply with it by lack of courage and intelligence. The finding that humanity has always worked well often revolted me and made me bitter. Today I focus more on what I can produce as positive every day for me and my family, and also help those likely to awaken to find the light.
” The Mirror of Suffering – The Circle of Ghosts” addresses the fascination generated by the meeting with darker energies in one mind. This learning phase is rewarding and often traumatic. Only the mind can also revel in it and remain in an exaggerated manner, even eternal.
Who are some of the special guests appearing on Wyrd and what was it like doing these collaborations with the traditional instruments?
Himinbjorg music is the expression of my paganism. Christophe Morvan is a famous traditional musician of Breton and Celtic music, Baptiste Labenne is the central member of the folk metal band “Boisson Divine” (Divine Drink). It is the Basque race and Gascon culture. The Basque people are an ancient people who lives between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast, and which nobody knows the genetic origin or that of the language. These meetings made at the crossroads of destiny, the Wyrd spoke. They are great people, they offered me a lot of traditional instruments tracks. I was able to choose my own way which reinforced the songs of the album.
How does Wyrd compare to the previous Himinbjorg releases?
This album I have produced myself without initial budget is a comprehensive look at the road that was mine. I’m forty and I begin to perceive the meaning of my destiny. The production is mature because it is a positive album made with the participation of great people, KH is the drummer for years, but Patric ” Darkhyrys ” G. which is a new meeting and that completely remixed and mastered the WSL studio album, Baptist, Christopher, Vincent. This album is a work of the Wyrd friends has gathered, and fulfillment.
Who did the cover art for Wyrd and how much input did you have on it?
Vincent Fouquet from “Above Chaos”, a talented young graphic designer has made the cover . He worked for Melechech, Tsjuder, Nightfall, Inquisition, Naglfar … He lived near me in Brittany where I lived 3 years , we were going fishing together. I think he felt my ancestors through me, for the cover illustration looks all the way to the places of my home area where I spent long moments to connect to the elemental spirits. This sleeve can be interpreted as the meeting with the ancestral part of our mind.
What could one expect from a live Himinbjorg show in 2015?
Concerts in France and some in Europe. But we have no official tours. I receive proposals but asked me for money to tour, never in my life !
Has Himinbjorg ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days?
No, we were at Redstream when we started but a tour with them could never materialize, we have almost played Minneapolis fest in 1999. No plans at the moment, I am open to any honest proposal!
If Himinbjorg could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Samael because it is a band that has been of great spiritual significance for me when I was 20. We have been able to play with Enslaved and we will redo it next July, it is also a great satisfaction. I love also Helheim.
When you look back on the first two albums Where Raven’s Fly and In The Raven’s Shadow, what do you think of them now?
I would say that “Where Ravens Fly” has the magic of a great debut album. A magic almost impossible to find except perhaps 20 years after?!
In the Raven’s … a dark and winding journey that marked the public – seems it does.
Will we have to wait another five years for the next Himinborg auditory epic?
I think yes. I produce my albums myself and CD market is no longer profitable . It is not urgent to get back into such projects, it is difficult to achieve. And then I want to wait to have some really interesting music to present to the public.
Any final words of wisdom?
I am pleased to be yet released in the USA after 20 years , I hope that we will one day have the opportunity to come playing live there one day.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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