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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.
Reviews of "Himmelfall":
"Med ”Himmelfall” har Glittertind gitt oss sitt beste, om ikke dét beste albumet siden "Landkjenning”. Et knallsterkt album som lever og tenker, slik vi mennesker gjør."
6/6 - Nash Rothanburg
"All in all, Himmelfall is a brilliant listen and is another fine bit of work from Glittertind, who have by now proven themselves to be a consistently great band no matter what style of music they play. It’s always a pleasure to hear new music from Glittertind, and Himmelfall is another album showcasing this band on top form."
9,5/10 - Natalie Humphries
Soundscape Magazine (UK)
"Listening to an album with lyrics in a language I do not speak forced me to concentrate on the music itself, and the feelings it imparted. In this case, the artists’ personalities were on center stage, bubbling with life and vivacious soul. Although we are a Metal site primarily, and this is not Metal music by any stretch, it is still a very touching album that will force you to explore a lot of your emotions and inner self."
8/10 - Dave Campell
Metal Temple (US)
"Welche ehemalige (Pagan) Metal Band rehabilitiert mit ihrem Album Opener den letzten katholischen Erzbischof – und das auch noch auf einem Konzeptalbum, welches wiederum den historischen Einfluss der Reformation skizziert? Künstlerische Freiheit ist keine Selbstverständlichkeit, und ihre Interpretation auf "Himmelfall" verströmt etwas ebenso Andächtiges wie Lebendiges. Die Stimmung reicht von besinnlicher Einkehr wie im Gottesdienst zu ungezwungener Freudenfeier, und genau diese Vielfalt zeichnet "Himmelfall" aus, bei dem sich vor allem die Frage stellt, wer das bloß hören soll, bzw. welche Radiostationen heute noch den Mut aufbringen, solche Musik zu spielen?"
14/15 - Thor Joakimsson
"(..) lasen die Norweger ihre Musik für sich sprechen und diese ist unsagbar toll geblieben."
4/5 - Robert Huber
Metal Underground (Austria)
"Fazit: Opulenter, grandioser Genre-Schubladensprenger."
5/6 - Nathalie Martin
"Vielleicht wird nicht jeder mit der neuen Ausrichtung warm werden, und womöglich wird man GLITTERTIND für den radikalen Stilwechsel auch an mancher Stelle verurteilen. Blickt man aber einzig und alleine auf den letztendlichen Output, kommt man nicht umhin, der Band zu einem sehr authentischen, insgesamt auch überzeugenden Album zu gratulieren - und "Himmelfall" auch für die Risikobereitschaft seiner Erzeuger zu respektieren!"
7,5/10 - Björn Backes
1. Olav Engelbrektsson
2. Etter stormen
4. Finst ikkje meir
6. I djupet lokkar ein eld
8. Tvilar på alt
9. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
Torbjørn Sandvik – vocals
Geirmund Simonsen – organ, rhodes, piano, cembalo, grand-piano, synths, backing-vocals
Bjørn Nordstoga Eide – bass, double-bass, backing-vocals
Stefan Theofilakis – flutes, dobro
Geir Holm – drums
Eivind Almhjell – el-guitar, acoustic guitar except ”Forføraren” with Torbjørn Sandvik on acoustic guitar and Olav Aasbø on el-guitar.
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 and David Ringstad.
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.
Photo - Magnus Nordstrand. Illustration - Børge Bredenbekk. Layout – Nick Alexander.
15 years ago, Torbjørn Sandvik (then 17 y.o.) started Glittertind as a one-man project. Inspired by grand stories of religion, nation and ideology, he created the albums «Evige Asatro» (2004) and «Til Dovre Faller» (2005) which got a lot of praise by the British hardrock press:
“..One listen to one-man Norwegian project Glittertind will instantly make you want to eat meat off the bone, casually get into a drunken fight and possibly grow a huge beard as well, thanks to their raucous Pogues-turned-up-to-11 sound.”
- Kerrang! 4/5K!
In the years that followed, Sandvik started studying psychology in Oslo and decided not to focus on Glittertind for a while. However, a couple of years later he was headhunted by Thomas Steindl which was A&R at Napalm Records (Universal Music Germany). In Oslo, Sandvik had already met Geirmund Simonsen who was composing for Norwegian television and movies at this time. Sandvik decided to sign with Napalm Records and Simonsen joined in contributing with his knowledge on score music. The first result of this collaboration was the filmatic "Landkjenning" (‘Landfall’, 2009), which became a great success in Norway, getting playlisted on the biggest Norwegian radiostation NRK P1, it reached top 20 on the official Norwegian sales-list and got great reviews in both newspapers and metal-press. Johnny Angelund, head of Karmøygeddon Metal Festival, convinced the duo to form a group and their first live performance on a sold out Karmøygeddon 2010 was a fact.
In 2013 Glittertind’s first album as a full band, "Djevelsvart" (‘Devil-Black’) was released on the Norwegian label Indie Recordings. This time Glittertind received a lot of attention from the mainstream media and performed on Norway's most popular talk-show Lindmo. "Djevelsvart" topped iTunes several days after the performance, the single "Kvilelaus" (‘Restless’) got playlisted on Norway's biggest radio station and the band received great reviews in newspapers and magazines in Norway and abroad, where Kerrang!, amongst many others, gave 4/5.
In 2015 the band released "Blåne for blåne" (‘Blue Distance’), a peaceful acoustic album which was a tribute to the generation of their grand-parents and a way to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. Several of the songs were playlisted on Norway's biggest radio station P1, the record received a lot of praise in several newspapers, and Sandvik got to pay a moving tribute to his grand-mother on live-TV during the show Sommeråpent. Even metalheads got sentimental when listening to the album:
«This album is a thing of beauty; the language barrier is forgotten from the first syllable as the voices instantly establish themselves as another instrument conveying heartfelt sentiment and feeling throughout. So there may be some obvious nods towards recent folk/mainstream successes, but the depth and subdued passion within these tunes is remarkable, refreshing and rewarding to the end.»
- 5/5. Andy Hodge for MetalTalk.net (UK)
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