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Fire
     

Fire

by Hedningarna
 
Apparently sensing that Scandinavian music was the Next Big Thing after the success of Värttinä, Sony Records bought the rights to release material from the first three albums by this Swedish and Finnish high-tech roots group. Sony put it all in a fiery red package with lots of blurry, atmospheric pictures, listed the group by their

Overview

Apparently sensing that Scandinavian music was the Next Big Thing after the success of Värttinä, Sony Records bought the rights to release material from the first three albums by this Swedish and Finnish high-tech roots group. Sony put it all in a fiery red package with lots of blurry, atmospheric pictures, listed the group by their translated name "the Heathens," instead of by their Swedish name Hedningarna, and made a go of marketing them as Gothic music for the smart set. It seems not to have worked, because Hedningarna's later albums (and their earlier ones too) have been released in the U.S. by Northside, a label that specializes in Scandinavian music. Too bad, because despite the inauthentic packaging, Fire is a hell of a good album. Hedningarna's shtick is for the three Swedish men to play old-style Swedish instruments (fiddles, bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, etc.) while the two Finnish women wail away in that nation's distinctive style -- and then to tweak the product towards the modern with all sorts of studio manipulations: self-sampling, compression, drum machine, roaring electric guitar. It's like going back in a time machine and finding Viking hordes with cell phones. The compilation is almost seamless and provides a fascinating, if slightly ear-splitting, mix of material. Best is when the two Finnish singers are given free space to build up the tension of their chanted style, as on "Tina Vieri" and "Grodan/Widergrenen." The instruments are at their best when they're not over the top: pushing the raspy Swedish fiddles forward in the mix is fine, but making the drums fill all the acoustic space is too much. And the sound effects (chain-saws and werewolves) quickly become tiresome. Blemishes aside, if there's one album to have from this imaginative bunch, Fire is it.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/30/1996
Label:
Tristar
UPC:
0766923675625
catalogNumber:
36756

Tracks

  1. Aivolon  -  Heathens
  2. Tina Vieri  -  Heathens
  3. Gorrlaus  -  Heathens
  4. Omas Ludvig  -  Heathens
  5. Varg Timmen  -  Heathens
  6. Luopolle Loulunul  -  Heathens
  7. Min Skog  -  Heathens
  8. Kruspolska  -  Heathens
  9. Viklorin  -  Heathens
  10. Tuuli  -  Heathens
  11. Chicago  -  Heathens
  12. Grodan/Widergrenen  -  Heathens
  13. Räven  -  Heathens

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hedningarna   Primary Artist
Bjorn Tollin   Fiddle,Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Sampling
Heathens   Track Performer
Sanna Kurki-Suonio   Bass Drums,Vocals,Voices
Anders Norudde   Bagpipes,Fiddle,Flute,Violin,Harp,Jew's Harp,Vocals,Willow Flute
Tellu Paulasto   Fiddle,Violin,Vocals,Voices
Hållbus Totte Mattson   Mandolin,Lute,Vocals,Hurdy-Gurdy

Technical Credits

Dag Lundquist   Producer,Engineer
Bjorn Tollin   Programming
Hedningarna   Producer
Greenberg Kingsley   Art Direction
Andrew Scott   Programming
Eva Wilke   Executive Producer
Ulf Gruvberg   Producer
Peter Lloyd   Programming

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