Heilung — the revered experimental folk band made up of members from Denmark, Norway and Germany — recently completed their first-ever North American headlining tour, captivating crowds across the states and in Canada with their mystical live ritual. The group describe their music, which is made on usual instruments including sword, shields and human bones, as “amplified history from early medieval northern Europe” as they aim to recreate the sounds of the Iron Age. On January 24th, the band swung through New York City’s Webster Hall, and photographer Mark Smitty Neil was there to catch all the Viking action. See some of his standout shots from the pit below.
Heilung were playing in support of their 2019 album Futha, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Heatseeker charts and No. 4 on the Billboard World Music Charts. The band recently announced that they will be working with U.K. gaming company Ninja Theory on the soundtrack for their upcoming game, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. Heilung’s music has previously appeared in a trailer for the final season of HBO’s smash fantasy series Game of Thrones and in a 2018 commercial for the Adidas x Alexander Wang collaboration.
Heilung commented on the Ninja Theory collaboration in a joint statement: “From the very first meeting with co-founder & Chief Creative Ninja Tameem, Commercial Director Dominic, and Audio Lead David, we discovered that although we work on very different platforms, the core is very much alike. Both Heilung and Hellblade are deeply inspired by nature and history, and aim to alter your state of mind. We are looking very much forward to present this hybrid child, born from a meeting between ancient spirits and the technology of tomorrow.”