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Skálmöld at Rockharz Open Air 2018
Skálmöld at Rockharz Open Air 2018
Background information
OriginReykjavík, Iceland
GenresViking metal, folk metal
Years active2009–present
Napalm Records
Associated actsInnvortis, Sólstafir
MembersBaldur Ragnarsson
Björgvin Sigurðsson
Gunnar Ben
Jón Geir Jóhannsson
Snæbjörn Ragnarsson
Þráinn Árni Baldvinsson

Skálmöld (pronounced [ˈskau̯lmœlt])[1] is a Viking / folk metal band from Reykjavík, Iceland, formed in August 2009.[2] The band's name is literally translated as Age of Swords and also means "lawlessness", referring to the Age of the Sturlungs of Icelandic history, when a civil war broke out between the country's family clans.[3]


Björgvin Sigurðsson at Rockharz 2018
Skálmöld in Club 202
Þráinn Árni Baldvinsson, Rockharz 2015
Snæbjörn Ragnarsson
Jón Geir Jóhannsson at Rockharz 2018

Snæbjörn Ragnarsson and Björgvin Sigurðsson, who have been friends since childhood and have played together in various collectives, including death metal and punk bands, decided to start a new metal band, Skálmöld, formed in August 2009 in Reykjavík.[4] The other band members had also been active in the Icelandic music scene. Initially, the band was intended to be merely a hobby, but the members soon decided to record an album before they were "too old and tired".[5] After contacting most of the Icelandic labels—to no avail—the band was signed by the Faroese label Tutl in November 2010, which released the band's debut album Baldur in Iceland and the Faroe Islands. In April 2011, the band signed a record deal with Napalm Records; Baldur was re-released worldwide the following August.[6]

The deal with Napalm gave Skálmöld a significant popularity boost. The band was invited to participate in the Wacken Open Air festival and the Heidenfest 2011 tour.[5]

On April 13, 2012, Skálmöld began recording its second album, Börn Loka, which was released in October the same year.[7]

In November, 2013, Skálmöld played a series of concerts with the Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands at the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavík. A live album and accompanying video was released on December 17, 2013.

The next studio album was Með vættum, released in 2014, which tells the story of a woman who encounters enemies in the north, east, south and west of Iceland, and is assisted by mythological beings. In 2016 Skálmöld released Vögguvísur Yggdrasils, an album themed around the different worlds of Norse cosmology. It was followed by Sorgir in 2018, which tells four tragic stories, each from two different perspectives.[8]

The band's official book, The Saga Of Skálmöld, was published in 2021. It was written by British author Joel McIver and featured a foreword by President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson.[9]

Musical style[edit]

From the beginning, Skálmöld's intention has been to combine the sounds of the traditional Icelandic music and metal.[4] Initially, the band planned to use a lot of folk instruments, but soon decided to scale back and have three guitar players instead. The band's influences include such metal bands as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Slayer, Amon Amarth and Ensiferum, as well as Jón Leifs, the classical Icelandic composer.[4][10] Skálmöld's lyrics, written by Snæbjörn entirely in Icelandic, are inspired by the Norse mythology and Icelandic sagas.[2] Furthermore, the lyrics conform to some of the Old Norse poetic forms, including fornyrðislag and sléttubönd.[11][12]

All the band members are members of the heathen organisation Ásatrúarfélagið. Jón Geir Jóhannsson explained the way they believe in the Norse gods: "You shouldn't personify them. It's not people, it's stories that represent human nature. So yes, the ethics are there, but we don't believe in them as 'persons'."[13]


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]


  • 2013: "Innrás"


  • Björgvin Sigurðsson – vocals, guitar
  • Baldur Ragnarsson – guitar, vocals
  • Snæbjörn Ragnarsson – bass, vocals
  • Þráinn Árni Baldvinsson – guitar, vocals
  • Gunnar Ben – oboe, keyboard, vocals
  • Jón Geir Jóhannsson – drums, vocals



  1. ^ "Icelandic Pronuncation". Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b Morton, Kenneth (September 1, 2011). "Skálmöld: Grand Viking Metal from Iceland!". Highwire Daze. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  3. ^ "Interview Skálmöld". August 16, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Interview mit Björgvin Sigurðsson zu "Baldur"" (in German). December 26, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Interview met Skálmöld" (in Dutch). Ashladan. August 13, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  6. ^ "Skálmöld". Napalm Records. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  7. ^ "Skálmöld taka upp Börn Loka". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). April 13, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
  8. ^ Þorsteinn Hreggviðsson (9 October 2018). "Skálmöld - Sorgir". RÚV (in Icelandic). Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Skálmöld biography". Myspace. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  11. ^ Schmatz, Bastian. "Skálmöld - Baldur" (in German). Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  12. ^ "Skálmöld - Baldur" (in German). Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  13. ^ Angela (25 November 2017). "Skálmöld: Klischee-Alarm! Landeskunde mit den Isländern". (in German). Retrieved 22 October 2019. Man sollte sie aber nicht personifizieren. Es sind keine Personen, es sind Geschichten, die die menschliche Natur repräsentieren. Also ja, die Sittenlehre ist da, aber wir glauben nicht an sie als „Personen“.
  14. ^ "Skálmöld - SORGIR - October 12th". instagram. Retrieved August 14, 2018.

External links[edit]