Music videos & Lyrics

Glittertind

Himmelfall

Glittertind - Himmelfall

New album out October 31th 2017


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With «Himmelfall» (‘Heaven Fall’), Glittertind commemorates that 500 years have passed since Martin Luther started his rebellion against the Church and that 480 years have passed since protestantism was forced upon Norway. In this era, world-views clashed together, Norway lost their independence, religious wars reigned in Europe, and many people hoped for a new beginning in the recently discovered America. «Himmelfall» is breaking musical boundaries mixing elements ranging from pop to black metal. The varied songs reflect faith, doubt and loss of meaning, where the sum of the songs create a larger whole, enchanting the listener to reflect on our dramatic history.

Music videos & Lyrics

Side A

1. Olav Engelbrektsson

Vind på hav slå silkesegl
syng den song som saga fortel -
Erkebiskop Olav bar
sorg og skuld som heilag far

Konung Kristian drøymer
Danmark-Noreg gløymer:

Olav Engelbrektsson

Frykta for sitt fedreland
Martin Luther truga han
Som ein løve i frå nord
slost han for si moderjord

Olav Engelbrektsson

/:Kyrie eleison:/

Olav Engelbrektsson

Olav Engelbrektsson (b. 1480, Trondenes, Norway – d. 1538, Lier, Habsburg Netherlands) was the 28th Archbishop of Norway from 1523 to 1537, the Regent of Norway from 1533 to 1537, a member and later president of the Riksråd (Council of the Realm), and a member of the Norwegian nobility. He was the last Roman Catholic to be the Archbishop of Norway before he fled to exile in 1537.

After his death, Olav Engelbrektsson was given a "bad reputation as an untrustworthy and scheming prelate" by the Protestant historians. His reputation did not improve after 1814, when Norway made its declaration of independence from Denmark, because he was still blamed for promoting the Catholic Church at the expense of Norwegian independence. But the later historians – Absalon Taranger in 1917, Sverre Steen in 1935 and Lars Hamre in 1998 – have rehabilitated most of his reputation with detailed studies and labeled most of the accusations as unfair. The story of "Olav Engelbrektsson" is another example of how history always is twisted in favor of the victory lords.


2. Etter stormen (After the Storm)

Etter stormen såg eg ingenting
ingenting av alt eg såg
Etter stormen dreiv eg rundt i ring
og undra på kor landet låg

Etter stormen blanke auge bar
himmelen så rar og bleik
Etter stormen fann eg ingen svar
viljevarden visna veik

Eg kom drivande som båt i brann
på dei blåe bylgjer knust i strand

Eg drøymde ein draum
eg trudde var sann
Eg livde eit liv
som forsvann

Etter stormen reiv ut ryggen min
såg eg ingen slott som skein
Etter stormen ingen glitretind
såg eg ingen himmelheim

Eg var ’kje klar for denne kalde jord
Eg var ’kje klar, eg hadde ingen ord

Eg drøymde ein draum
eg trudde var sann
Eg livde eit liv
som forsvann

Eg ville flyge langt derifrå
ut til allheimen den blå
Eg virra rundt i ein ynskjebrunn
og lengta etter mysterium

Sjå verda spinn bak det kvite-grå
med alle skapningar på skrå
Me virrar rundt i ein ynskjebrunn
og lengtar etter mysterium

Eg var ’kje klar for denne kalde jord
Eg var ’kje klar, eg hadde ingen ord

Eg drøymde ein draum
eg trudde var sann
Eg livde eit liv
som forsvann

After a traumatic event, Martin Luther (b.1483 - d.1546) experienced a turning point in his life. As a student he was travelling to meet his parents when he and his horse ended up in a terrible thunder-storm. Lightning struck right by his side, and this night he really feared for his life. Young Luther felt the event was a punishment from God and started to blaim himself. He started broodening on his own existence and how he had led his life, he repented his sins and felt he needed penance. He quit law-school, defied his own father and mooved into a monastery.

The song expresses a world-viewed falling apart after a trauma.


3. Likvake (Wake)

Så sit eg her og klemmer din hand
den som no er kald
og minna slår og strøymer i meg
frå livet du gav til du fall

I kveld skal djevelen vandre sin veg
demonar skal miste si tru
for eg skal vake over min skatt
og kysse eit siste god natt

Den dagen då du heldt kring min kropp
og jubla over mitt skrik
Du kviskra meg i øyret og sa
at me var perfekte slik

Eg møtte verda så hjelpelaust
men du kunne syne ei bru
for du såg slik ein fager skatt
og kyste meg kjærleg god natt

Eit blafrande ljos jagar skugge svart
og skremmer burt ormar og angst
Din hud er så bleik under månen blank
men sjela di skal snart
få stråle langs himmelen bjart

I kveld skal djevelen vandre sin veg
demonar skal miste si tru
for eg skal passe på deg min skatt
og kysse eit siste god natt

In Catholic Norway, folk-lore and Christendom existed side by side. For a people that had worshiped many Gods (Norse Mythology), Jesus, Mary and saints were a supplement to old Gods, or at least they were pretty easy to replace i.e. Odin - God, Frey - Mary, Jesus - Balder and so forth. The Luther-reformation argued the support of a much more totalitarian monoteistic religion with one God, one king and one state. On the 100th anniversary for the union of Denmark-Norway, the king had two important goals for the next 100 years: To kill all witches and put an end to sexual promiscuity. The State-Church became an important tool for the king in diciplining his own people.

Wake is an old heathen custom where one wakes over the dead until their funeral, and the purpose is to save the soul from dark spirits. In Norway, youth could get the job of waking, and often they partied and danced during the wake. There was always lit a candle by the dead, and they hoped the soul would choose the light when it left the body. One could not know when the soul would leave the body, therefore it was important to wake until the corpse was underground.

The song expresses the strong communion of dying back in the old days which might stand in strong contrast to the modern view that death is the symbol of ultimate loneliness. The Norwegian painter, Nikolai Astrup (b. 1880, d. 1928) and his painting, "Likdansen" (The Corpse Dance), has been of great inspiration for this song.

4. Finst ikkje meir (Exist No More)

I aust så lister sola seg opp på tå
med gull for dine auge så du kan sjå
langt vest i hav eit land stig langsamt fram

Min venn, eg veit ein veg til ein heilag stad
der draumar rir på redsla - Amerika
eg lovar deg at allting skal bli bra

For dei finst ikkje meir!
Å, dei finst ikkje meir, nei!
Nei, dei finst ikkje
finst ikkje, finst ikkje
finst ikkje meir!

Dei får aldri eige oss kvitt og fritt
alt framfor dine føter er ditt og mitt

Dei gamle dagar er forbi!

Og no står flammane høgt opp i sky
av eld og blod så kan ein morgon gry
Dei ville 'kje forstå
og ingen trudde på
at me to kunne fly

Og langt bak oss står eit hylekor
som hatar denne menneskejord
Dei lyste oss i bann
og skam, og skam, og skam
for kjærleiken er stor

Men dei finst ikkje meir
å, dei finst ikkje meir, nei
nei, dei finst ikkje
finst ikkje, finst ikkje
finst ikkje meir
For dei finst ikkje meir!
å, dei finst ikkje meir, nei!
Nei, dei finst ikkje
finst ikkje, finst ikkje
finst ikkje meir!

Og no står flammane høgt opp i sky
av eld og blod så kan ein morgon gry
Dei ville 'kje forstå
og ingen trudde på
at me to kunne fly

Og langt bak oss står eit hylekor
som hatar denne menneskejord
Dei lyste oss i bann
og skam, og skam, og skam
for kjærleiken er stor!

Kjærleiken er stor!
For kjærleiken er stor!
For kjærleiken er stor!

The vitalizing single, Finst ikkje meir (Eng. 'Exist no more’), expresses an intense love story where the «I» tries to convince the other that a hope of a better future lies in the newly discovered America. In Europe, religious persecution and wars reigned during the 16th and 17th century and many fled to America to find freedom and peace.

5. Himmelfall (Heaven Fall)

Organ instrumental by Geirmund Simonsen, recorded in Fagerborg Church, Oslo, Norway.

Music videos & Lyrics

Side B

6. I djupet lokkar ein eld (A Fire Calls From The Deep)

Eg er heilt åleine
med tårar på kinn
rundt meg er murar
og ingen kjem inn
Dei ropar om kjærleik
dei ropar om fred
men det er ikkje meg
det er ikkje meg

Så sint og fortvila
og lei av meg sjølv
senker eg sorga
i brennvin og øl
Der nede i djupet
der kan eg sjå
ein varde som lyste
opp himmelen blå

Eg kan ikkje sjå meg attende!
Kirsebærblomane fell
Eg kan ikkje sjå meg attende!
Dag har blitt natt, morgon til kveld
og i djupet lokkar ein eld

Den dagen då sola
ikkje kraup opp:
Kan hende eit hjarte
kan knuse ein kropp?
Kan hende min elskling
finst bak eit slør?
Og nede i djupet
ho opnar ei dør
og nede i djupet
er allting som før

Eg kan ikkje sjå meg attende!
Kirsebærblomane fell
Eg kan ikkje sjå meg attende!
Dag har blitt natt, morgon til kveld
og i djupet lokkar ein eld

Eg kan ikkje sjå meg attende
dag har blitt natt, morgon til kveld
og i djupet lokkar ein eld

One of the most dramatic events in Martin Luther's life was when he had to stand trial in front of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, in the Reichstag of Worms in 1521. Charles V wanted Luther to refute his work and accusations against the Pope and the Church. Luther choose to speak against the power and risk his life when he stated his famous words: "Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me."

To stand by his own conviction had great consequences for Martin Luther. Luther had to escape Worms before the verdict. Later he was declared an outlaw and heretic. On his way from Worms he was abducted by supporters who brought him to a forced excile in the castle of Wartburg. He got the pseudonym Junker Jörg and his beard and hair grew so that he would not be recognised. In the time of exile, he got deeply depressed and had several visions of the devil himself. Amazingly, in the same period he managed to translate the new testament from Greek to German.

The song expreses the struggle between the death drive and the lust for life.

7. Forføraren (The Seducer)

Eg veit ein mann med auge rå
og med håret litt på skrå
Han er rik og finn svar
på ein angst som folket har

Og frå eit tårn av betong
sminkar han ein fin fasong
Å vere sterk og aldri svak
er for han ei kjernesak

Han har trompet
utan musikk
Han har ord
utan lyrikk
Han har hat, han har dom
som ein sumar aldri kom

Ei gamal bok spør vår jord:
Kan ein fiende bli ein bror?
Men med blod blei det sagt:
I kjærleik ligg det makt!

Ein draum om fred i krigar-ham
var eit farvel til eiga skam
Då blei dei stolte av sitt svik
når dei vandra yvi lik!

Når stormar tar
all tru me har
ein førar stig fram då!
Og er du blind for auge rå
forførar han deg òg!
Og er du blind for auge rå
forførar han deg òg!

Med ein trompet
utan musikk
Og med ord
utan lyrikk
Og med hat, og med dom
som ein sumar aldri kom

We released, ’Forføraren’ (The Seducer), as a single in September 2016. The song is about the dangerous mix of religion and politics, and uses Trump as an example of a dangerous demagogue who appeals specially to evangelic Protestants in the U.S. There are some interesting similarities between Luther and Trump. Similar to Luther, Trump is approaching people directly in a vulgar language without any respect for authorities. Luther was agitated by the corrupt Catholic Church, where everything happened in a language people did not understand. After the Reformation, priests lost part of their role as elevated middlemen, and Luther wanted the people to connect more directly with God. In the Catholic Church the way to salvation went through a great hierarchy. Obviously, there seems to be a parallel to Trump who transfered popular frustration to the political sphere and wanted a confrontation with the political elite.

Musically ‘Forføraren’ offers a quite surprising lift and tempo change. The song starts out with classic American melodies in a Nashville-mood, but then it changes dramatically to a gospel-like rock hymn. Like Trump, the song starts off charming and humorous, but end up in a sincerity which states something about the possible catastrophic consequences by giving demagogues power.


8. Tvilar på alt (Doubt everything - De Omnibus Dubtidandum Est)

Eg tvilar alt eg høyrer
dei trur mest eg er gal
Kan hende var ein vantru
aldri heilt normal

Ein gong så var eg kjettar
dei slengde meg på bål
Ein storm som aldri lettar
ei undring utan mål

Eg tvilar og eg tvilar

Eg tvilar på alt
det som eg er fortalt
Eg tvilar på alt
for då trur eg aldri galt
Så eg tvilar
eg tvilar på alt!

I djupe gruvegangar
eg hamrar stein for stein
Bak undring ligg forundring
og eg finn aldri heim

Ein løgn kan vere sanning
og sanning tomme ord
Det kviler ei forbanning
mot denne arme jord

Og leiarar held talar
som vismenn veit er tull!
Og makta sit i salar
der ord er kjøpt av gull!

Eg tvilar på alt
det som eg er fortalt
Eg tvilar på alt
for då trur eg aldri galt
Så eg tvilar, eg tvilar
eg tvilar
på alt!

Så eg tvilar
eg tvilar
på alt -

After the Reformation, brutal religous wars gradually led to a more critical attitude towards authorities and religion in general. Intellectuals and scientists started to challenge the Church-monopoly on truth, often risking a mark as a heretic and being burned. One of the great conflicts during this era was between either a geocentric or a heliocentric world-view. Giordano Bruno (b. 1548, d.1600) was one of the intellectuals being persecuted, convicted and executed as a heretic in Rome. You can read more about Giordano Bruno here

The french philosopher Rene Descartes (b. 1596, d. 1650) launched the following slogan: ”De omnibus dubitandum est” which means: "Everything must be doubted". A scientific revolution was forming during the 17th century and was an indirect consequence of the reformation and the religious conflicts in Europe. The religious fanatic Martin Luther would never imagined such a consequence of the revolution he himself started October 31th in 1517.

9. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress is our God)

Vår Gud han er så fast ei borg,
han er vårt skjold og verje.
Han hjelper oss i naud og sorg,
når Styggen her vil herje.
Den Gamle-Erik er
på felttog med sin hær.
Stor makt og list har han,
ein grufull pansermann!
På jorda finst ei maken!

Vår eiga makt er altfor svak,
mot Styggen vil me tape.
Men Gud har reist vår vonde sak
så Fanden fekk ei skrape!
Kven eig den beste list?
Han heiter Jesus Krist!
Ein høvding er vår mann,
i kampen vinn han fram:
Vår Frelsar fremst må sigre!

Om verda full av djevlar var,
ein ormegard i sinne.
Me ingen angst i hjarte bar
for Kristi sverd skal klinge!
Om fyrsten for slik jord,
på folkehat vert stor:
- Me ler så godt me kan,
han er ein dauddømd mann!
Eit ord vil honom felle!

Og Ordet står til domedag
til agg for djevelpakket!
Vår Frelsar kjem i siste slag
og Nåda kan me takke!
Om Fanden tek vårt liv,
gods, ære, born og viv:
Då har vår Herre talt,
med Ordet gav Han alt!
Guds rike vårt skal vere!
Guds rike vårt skal vere!

"A Mighty Fortress is our God" has been the anthem of the Protestants and was written by Martin Luther himself during the 1520s. We have studied the sources of the song and done a new translation of the lyrics and given the melody a new arrangement.

The lyrics is enhancing the medieval world-view of Martin Luther. There is a struggle between devils and angels where you better be a supporter of the right team. The song was used as a war-hymn during the religious wars in the 17th century. Before the battle of Breitenfeld in 1631, the Swedish king Gustav Adolf and his army sang the song before the battle.

It has been speculated whether Luther got his melody from a tavern, so that the general public already knew the melody. We have therefore transformed it to a more renaissance-dance-like arrangement.

10. Utferd (Exit)

Organ instrumental by Geirmund Simonsen, recorded in Fagerborg kirke. Based on the Norwegian traditional ”Eg veit i himmelrik ei borg” (trans. "I know a fortress in heaven").

Glittertind - Himmelfall

Produced by Geirmund Simonsen and Torbjørn Sandvik.
Recorded by technician Hans Andreas Horntveth Jahnsen in Propeller Music Division, except flutes and brass recorded by technician Jacob Dobewall in Propeller Music Division, organ recorded in Fagerborg Church in Oslo by Geirmund Simonsen as technician.
Mixed by Hans Andreas Horntveth Jahnsen in Propeller Music Division.
Mastered by Morgan Nicolaysen in Propeller Mastering.

All lyrics by Torbjørn Sandvik except ”Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” which is interpreted freely by Torbjørn Sandvik after Martin Luther (1529) and Elias Blix (1869).
All music by Torbjørn Sandvik and Geirmund Simonsen except ”Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” and ”Utferd” which is interpreted freely by Geirmund Simonsen after a traditional,”Himmelfall” which is composed by Geirmund Simonsen.
All arrangements by Geirmund Simonsen and Torbjørn Sandvik except: ”Himmelfall”, ”Utferd” and ”Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” which is arranged by Geirmund Simonsen, trumpetarrangement on ”Finst ikkje meir” by Eivind Nordset Lønning, Geirmund Simonsen og Torbjørn Sandvik, guitararrangement on ”I djupet lokkar ein eld” by Eivind Almhjell, Geirmund Simonsen and Torbjørn Sandvik.


The Band:
Torbjørn Sandvik – vocals
Geirmund Simonsen – organ, Rhodes, piano, cembalo, grand piano, synth, choirs
Bjørn Nordstoga Eide – bass, double-bass, choirs
Stefan Theofilakis – flutes, dobro
Geir Holm – drums

Other musicians:
Eivind Almhjell – elguitar, acoustic guitar except ”Forføraren” acoustic guitar by Torbjørn Sandvik and el-guitar by Olav Aasbø.
Eivind Nordset Lønning – piccolo trumpet, trumpet
Petter Richter - lute (theorbo), baroque guitar
Ingrid Mæland – violin

Choir of men: Sindre Øverstad, Amund Torp, Øyvind Torp, Mikkel Bjørnstad, Andreas Bjørnvik Grøder, Øyvind Brekkan, Olaf Mundal og David Ringstad.

Photo - Magnus Nordstrand. Illustration - Børge Bredenbekk. Layout – Nick Alexander.

TAKK venner & familie & alle involverte. Takk Åsmund Lindal for lånet av jaguaren din. Takk Olav Aasbø. Takk til deg. Fremfor alt til deg.

The production is released with support from Fond for lyd og bilde, Fond for utøvende kunstnere, Tekstforfatterfondet og Komponistenes vederlagsfond.

©&℗ 2017 Torbjørn Sandvik og Geirmund Simonsen under eksklusiv lisens til Hjelmkald (Glittertind live AS) og TONO. All rights reserved. Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.