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Robin Carolan & Sebastian Gainsborough

The Northman Original Motion Picture Score

    Rob wanted the world of The Northman to feel harsh and uncomfortable, and for everything to feel like it was caked in mud and dry blood, so it was crucial for the score to mirror that.” Composers Robin Carolan (Tri-Angle Records) and Sebastian Gainsborough (Vessel) were given a task of epic proportions when director Rob Eggers(The VVitch, The Lighthouse) asked them to create the score for his ambitious and highly anticipated new film The Northman, releasing on April 22nd. They needed to make a score that both honored the immense research that had gone into the authenticity of this Viking era period piece and complimented the cinematic maximalism of the film for a modern audience. The artists stretched themselves to the depths of their creativity and the resulting album is a gorgeous sonic tableaux that places the listener right in the center of the film.

    While arranging the score the composers consulted musician and ethnographer PoulHøxbro for inspiration and insight into the history of Viking music. Having backgrounds in left field electronic music, Robin and Sebastian felt liberated by the constraint of using a small selection of musical tools for this piece. “Electronic music has almost limitless potential when it comes to making sounds and that’s obviously an incredible thing, but you can also go down the wormhole and get lost in it sometimes. There’s no risk of that happening when you only have a few primary instruments to draw upon.” Robin remarked.

    They utilized traditional instruments such as the tagelharpa, langspil, kravik lyre, and säckpip to build the cinematic world of The Northman but they also took creative freedoms in adding instruments likes drums, which some academics believe wouldn’t have played a big part in Viking musical culture, simply due to the lack of archaeological evidence of actual drums. “One of the pieces we wrote was intended to emulate the sound of a bullroarer; an ancient instrument used in sacred rituals or in battle to intimidate enemies. It makes a really disorienting roaring vibrato sound and low frequencies capable of traveling insane distances.” Robin says when asked about one of the more unique aspects of the score. Everyone involved put so much effort into both their research and their creativity and this richness is evident in every track. The album as a whole is a cinematic masterpiece of sound and ambiance, both gorgeous and disturbing, like the film it so beautifully accompanies.


    Barry says: A wonderful soundtrack from the ever-reliable Sacred Bones, by music scene aficionados Carolan & Gainsborough. Tense, orchestral scores and deep ambient passages, both bleak and beautiful, perfect for listening to as meditative home listening as well as a perfectly measured soundtrack.


    1. Approaching Hrafnsey
    2. The King
    3. Entering The Temple
    4. Last Teardrop
    5. Blood Tree, Part I
    6. Strike, Brother
    7. Escape
    8. I Will Avenge You, Father
    9. The Land Of The Rus
    10. A Burning Barn
    11. Seeress
    12. Raven’s Omen
    13. Storm At Sea / Yggdrasill
    14. Iceland
    15. I Will Save You, Mother
    16. Slave Work
    17. Guðrún
    18. Follow The Vixen’s Tail
    19. He-Witch
    20. Draugr
    21. Mound Dweller
    22. To The Games
    23. Birch Woods
    24. First Of Many
    25. Trollish Sorcery
    26. Svið Night, Part I
    27. Svið Night, Part II
    28. I Am Your Death
    29. Come Morning
    30. I Am His Vengeance
    31. Óðinn
    32. Valkyrie
    33. Vestrahorn
    34. Hidden Valley
    35. Blood Tree, Part II
    36. Blóð Inside / I Choose Both
    37. A Maiden King
    38. The Wolf Has Grow
    39. The Gates Of Hel / Slain By Iron
    40. Hekla
    41. Cut The Thread Of Fate
    42. Make Your Passage / Valhöll
    43. Ættartré / End Credits

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