When the trailer for Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 dropped at The Game Awards 2019, you'd be lying if you said those chants and growls didn't freak you out a little bit. Pairing those Pagan chants with the trailer's visuals of fiery runes, people wearing branch hats, and Senua's face as her eyes roll about wildly made the whole thing even creepier. I love it. Turns out those chants weren't just created for the game, but are actually from a song by the band Heilung, an IRL experimental folk/industrial group who's working on the entire Hellblade 2 soundtrack.
The song in question is called 'In Maidjan' which means "to corrupt" and it's off Heilung's debut album. According to LyricsTranslate.com, the lyrics translate to this:
Come, guest Tyr
For this invocation
I, the Rune Master, servant of Odin, call upon the one of the Sun to aid our army
This could point to Senua's tribe invoking Norse gods to defend themselves against Viking attacks. Check out Heilung performing the song live below.
Revolver reports that Heilung's members hail from Denmark, Norway, and Germany, and their goal as a group is to bring back the lost sounds of the Iron Age with stirring, often guttural vocals, and instruments like swords and human bones. Cool cool cool.
The band released a statement announcing its collaboration with Ninja Theory: "It is with the uttermost joy and deepest respect that we can finally reveal: Heilung is collaborating with Ninja Theory on the soundtrack for Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2. From the very first meeting with co-founder and 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."
It's the year of guttural chants from real-world bands in top video games - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order made a Mongolian rock band canon.
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