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Heilung performing at Roskilde Festival, 2018
Heilung performing at Roskilde Festival, 2018
Background information
(Germany, Denmark, Norway)[1]
Years active2014–present
LabelsSeason of Mist
  • Christopher Juul
  • Kai Uwe Faust
  • Maria Franz

Heilung is an experimental folk music band made up of members from Denmark, Norway, and Germany.[3] Their music is based on texts and runic inscriptions from Germanic peoples of the Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Viking Age. Heilung describe their music as "amplified history from early medieval northern Europe". Their music is usually about Norse deities, jǫtnar, and valkyries. "Heilung" is a German noun meaning "healing" in English.[4]


Heilung was founded in 2014 by vocalist Kai Uwe Faust (a German tattoo artist who specializes in Old Norse tattoos), Danish producer Christopher Juul and the Norwegian singer Maria Franz (of the trio Songleikr and the progressive rock/pop-rock band Euzen). In 2015, the band self-released their debut album, Ofnir.[1]

The band's first performances in 2017 were at Castlefest and at the Midgardsblot Metalfestival. The Castlefest performance was recorded and released with the title Lifa on YouTube and as a live album.[5] Their 2017 performance at Midgardsblot was listed as one of the ten best performances of 2017 by Metal Hammer.[6] Later that year, the band signed a contract with the label Season of Mist.

On 20 April 2018, the two previously self-released albums Ofnir and Lifa were reissued on vinyl and CD.[7][3]

The band will compose the soundtrack for Senua's Saga: Hellblade II.[8]


According to Faust, the name of the band "Heilung", healing in German, says something about the style of the band: "The listener is supposed to be left at ease and in a relaxed state after a magical musical journey that is at times turbulent".[4] The recordings of the band are not limited to music, but also contain poems.

The references to the early ages of European Civilization are also made by using texts from historical artefacts or historical poems. The languages used are varied, with German, English, Gothic, Old High German, Icelandic, Old English, Proto-Norse, Proto-Germanic, and Viking age Old Norse being used.

As instruments, items are used that may have been already available to humans in the Iron Age, such as drums, bones or spears.

According to an August 2018 interview, the instruments they use consist of:[9]

  • drums, including one with horse skin painted with human blood, two drums with deerskin and a drum with goatskin
  • bones, including a human forearm bone and deer bones
  • a buffalo horn rattle
  • a clay rattle with human ashes
  • a Hindu ritual bell
  • antiques from temples
  • a reconstructed silver cup from the Viking age
  • a ravanahatha (an ancient Indian instrument)
  • other rattles, whistles and percussive instruments

Faust's throat singing recalls the Tibetan or Mongolian style. Juul uses a chirping whisper as vocals.

Elaborately designed costumes are worn by the band members on stage. These are partly based on the "spiritual traditions of the Eurasian circumpolar peoples", or are historically correct reproductions of Nordic Bronze Age clothing.


  • Ofnir (2015) (self-released, reissued 2018 on Season of Mist)
  • Lifa (2017) (Season of Mist)
  • Futha (2019) (Season of Mist)


Heilung was nominated in the Best Underground Band category for a Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award in 2018.[10]

Heilung tied for the World Traditional Award in the 18th Independent Music Awards with the song Norupo.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Reed, Ryan (15 February 2018). "How Denmark's Heilung Are Creating "Amplified History" With Human Bones, Throat Singing". Revolver. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  2. ^ Chapstick, Kelsey (16 December 2019). "Heilung to Soundtrack New 'Hellblade' Video Game: See Brutal, NSFW Trailer". Revolver. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Heilung (Amplified History / Neofolk)". Season of Mist. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b Thorley, Andy (4 December 2017). "Featured Band: Heilung". Maximum Volume Music. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  5. ^ Heilung (1 November 2017). "LIFA – Full Show". YouTube. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  6. ^ "The 10 best gigs of 2017". Metal Hammer. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  7. ^ Malt, Andy (5 February 2018). "One Liners: Justin Timberlake, Albert Hammond Jr, Queen and Adam Lambert, more". Complete Music Update. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  8. ^ Watson, Chris (16 December 2019). "The Heilung group will make the soundtrack of Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2". Free Game Tips.
  9. ^ Zorzi, Marika (4 August 2018). "The Grand Fashion of Heilung & Their Iconic Sound". New Noise. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  10. ^ "The Golden Gods Awards 2018 nominations are live – vote now". Metal Hammer. 29 March 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  11. ^ "The 18th Independent Music Awards Winners". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved 26 January 2021.