Since its inception in 2015, the enigmatic ritual collective HEILUNG has been paving melodic paths to the past with their unique and mystifying sound. Evading all conventional genre tags and the confines of any specific labels, the group aptly self-describes their sound as “amplified history,” emphasizing their ability to connect modern society with the rudiments of humanity’s beginnings through music.
HEILUNG once again journeys back in time with its new chapter, Drif. However, unlike previous offerings that centered around prehistoric northern Europe, it explores other great rudimentary civilizations outside of Europe.
“All the songs on Drif have their own stories,” adds HEILUNG throat singer and one of the band’s three composers, Kai Uwe Faust. "Each has its place and sense of belonging, with inspiration not only from Northern Europe, but from the ancient great civilizations,” explains the band. We took the ancient surrounding advanced civilizations in account, because our ancestral Nordic civilizations did not just pop up, exist and disappear in isolation. Already in the Bronze Age, we found silk on German land that was imported already from the far, far East 3000 years ago. From the Viking age, we found beads that were brought there from present-day Syria high up in the Northern mountains.
The band continues, “Centrally important concepts, still in extensive use today, like the number Zero and all the mathematical universes deriving from it, the use of iron and the general concept of settling all originate from traditional high civilizations outside the north and still fundamentally changing our ancestor’s world. With singing these primordial songs we want to give tribute to these cultures, reconnect to the beginnings and remember that we all, from East to West, from past to present, are connected through the exchange of ideas and inspiring each other.”
Meaning “gathering,” Drif serves as more than merely a gateway that bridges history with modern day society, but is also a statement of the strength in unity and togetherness, which will come as no surprise to those who have experienced HEILUNG’s live ritual, in which every ceremony starts with a reminder that “we are all brothers.” Further, Drif, explains HEILUNG is "a throng of people, a horde, a crowd, a pack. In symbiosis with the album title, Drif consists of a flock, a collection, a gathering, a collage of songs, that much like little flames were seeking towards each other, to join, to bond, to create, and be greater together.”
While HEILUNG features authentic and archaic instrumentation that ranges from rattles and ritual bells to human bones and throat singing, their captivating brand of music is far from primitive. Producer and founding member Christopher Juul implements subtle electronic elements that elevates the musical atmosphere and provides a more in-depth and layered soundscape.
“This album has very clearly dictated its own path. Our attempts to tame it were repeatedly fruitless, and once we came to this realization, the creative flow surged forward with immense force. So much so that sometimes it felt like the songs wrote themselves,” the band adds.