Are you looking for the lyrics to Einar Selvik’s “Vigahugr – Lust for Battle” song from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Original Game Soundtrack)? Good news: Soundtracks, Scores and More is thrilled to premiere the lyric video for “Vigahugr – Lust for Battle.” But, that’s not all: we are pleased to debut the old Norse lyrics, which is taken from the ancient poem, and the accompanying English translation, courtesy of Ubisoft! Watch below.
The song itself previously premiered at Destroy//Exit, where Einar’s song was described as offering “a strong taste of Selvik’s perceptive songwriting style and delivery and matches the game’s old world and atmosphere in all respects.”
Video game titan Ubisoft and Lakeshore Records have released the highly-anticipated video game soundtrack to the most talked-about game of the season, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla! The 47-track album features original compositions by Jesper Kyd and Sarah Schachner as well as original songs by Einar Selvik (of Wardruna) and has charted to No. 1 on iTunes in multiple countries such as the US, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Belgium, and more!
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Original Game Soundtrack) is out now digitally: [Listen/Download]
Einar Selvik is a Norwegian composer and founder of Wardruna, a project renowned for its innovative and genre-creating renditions of old Nordic songs.
Selvik merges the scholarly with pop culture by integrating old Nordic instruments, poetry and poetic meters in a contemporary soundscape. He lectures about his work with historical music at universities, such as Oxford, Denver, Reykjavik and Bergen. Selvik’s work is used by top Old Norse scholars to exemplify how music might have sounded in early Scandinavia.
Selvik and Wardruna contributed on History Channel’s Vikingssoundtrack, in which Selvik also appeared as a singer on two episodes of the television series. He was awarded the Egil Storbekken’s Music Prize, which is a national award given to those who have made extraordinary efforts in Norwegian folk music, especially with older folk instruments.
SSM: How did you get involved with the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla project?
ES: I was first approached by the musical team of Ubisoft through my publisher BMG in 2018. They were familiar with my work with Norse and Nordic music and had already been using a lot of my Wardruna compositions as temporary music in the game ad was interested in discussing a possible cooperation. I made an initial pitch with my musical ideas and we had some discussion over the phone before we decided to meet up in person.
A delegation from the AC music team came over to Bergen, Norway where I happen to be holding an acoustic “skaldic” concert in the royal medieval feasting hall “Håkonshallen”. This format of performance is in many ways very close to parts of the musical expression they wanted me to work on, so it was quite an appropriate occasion and backdrop to start planning our further collaboration on ACV!
SSM: The track ‘Vígahugr – Lust For Battle – Skaldic Version’ is awesome! Can you speak about your process with creating this track and the instruments you used?
ES: Thank you! It is in fact one of my favorite pieces from this whole material and also one of the songs I would consider as reflecting most authenticity in terms of the composition as a whole. The Norse culture was predominantly an oral society and so we clearly see that in the oldest song traditions we have here in the north, rhythms and melody are often guided by the (often) complex poetic structures.
The Vígahugr song gives good example of just that and also clearly reflect the tonality of ancient Scandinavian music. The lyrics is an excerpt of a poem composed by one of the most interesting Viking age skalds there was, Egill Skallagrimsson from the saga Egill´s Saga. They rather vividly express the rousing and build up before a battle, and if people think that Metal lyrics are brutal in nature, then they haven’t read much Viking age poetic battle descriptions, ha ha!
The backbone of the song is vocals and a seven stringed Lyre. Based on the historical sources we have; Lyres were the most common string instrument in Northern Europe in this time period and that is naturally also reflected in my work on the game. I also use bowed lyre (AKA Taglharpa, Haargigje, Jouhikko etc.) which is the earliest bowed instrument we have in the Nordic region.
The sources are conflicted on whether or not the instrument bow was used in the Viking age, but archelogy from both Ireland and Denmark suggest it was. Further, I have used bone flute as well as various percussion and animal-hide framedrum.
SSM: You have been involved with so many projects, from playing in the metal band Gorgoroth, fronting the Nordic folk project Wardruna to working on music for History Channel’s Vikings. What do you find is the most challenging part of the creative process for you?
ES: Yes, I´ve been very fortunate to get the chance to gain experience from many different types of musical formats and concepts. I guess one of the main challenges is to find the balance between being patient and working with deadlines. I like to let the songs take me where they want to take me rather than squeeze them into a predetermined shape or structure.
Not pushing it too much but still being pro-active. I generally like to take my time with my writing so when I started working the soundtrack on Vikings I really had to learn how to work faster without compromising the art itself. More instinctively and really tuning into my artistic impulses and intuition. I think that whole process helped me further develop my skills as a composer.
SSM: As someone who travels the world holding lectures and workshops about life in the Nordic region, what do you find is a common misconception about Vikings?
ES: Well, there are quite a few both positive and negative stereotypes and misconceptions out there. I guess the most common one is that the whole of ancient Scandinavian history has been named and defined by what a small number of people in the Nordic population did for a short amount of time. The word Viking is first and foremost a verb defining what some people did when they went off to sea, trading, raiding and warfare – which by the way wasn´t exclusive traits to the Norsemen.
They were, however, the best at it back then and dominated the period with their superior ships and fearless mentality – which again makes it very understandable why these Vikings have dominated the views on Norse history as a whole as well. Still, I would say that the old Norse culture has far more interesting things to offer than just warriors and warfare.
SSM: What’s coming up next for you?
ES: These days I am still doing musical work for AC Valhalla and also focusing on the new Wardruna album Kvitravn set for release in January 2021. The plan and hope are of course to start doing concerts again but with the current situation we have to plan for all sorts of scenarios depending on when the world goes back to some form of “normality”. If the concert restrictions are continued I will focus my time on writing music and studio work.
As previously announced, the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Original Game Soundtrack) will be released digitally via Lakeshore Records and video game titan Ubisoft on Friday, November 13, 2020! The 47-track album features original compositions by Jesper Kyd and Sarah Schachner as well as original songs by Einar Selvik (of Wardruna). Premiered today on the Ubisoft Music YouTube channel is the album preview, available exclusively ahead of the worldwide digital release. Watch the video below.
The Assassin’s Creed Valhalla game is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Stadia, and PC. Buy Now.
Listen to Jesper Kyd’s track, “Silent Ambush” exclusively now at Under The Radar!
“The ominous ‘Silent Ambush,’ which builds intensity over three minutes, straddles a balance between being calming, yet highly sinister. It could soothe the nerves, or easily fray them—it depends, we guess, on which side of the ambush you’re on.”
The Assassin’s Creed Valhalla game will release worldwide on November 10, 2020 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PlayStation®4, the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Store on Windows PC, as well as on UPLAY+, Ubisoft’s subscription service, and Stadia. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will release on PlayStation®5 alongside the launch of the console from November 12th, 2020. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will launch on Amazon Luna alongside the launch of the Ubisoft channel.