Heilung is an experimental folk band composed of members from Denmark, Norway, and Germany, who are dedicated to creating music that combines historical authenticity and spiritual exploration. Their unique soundscapes, which include reconstructed historical instruments, animal and human bones, throat singing, spoken word, and ancient runic inscriptions, have garnered a loyal fanbase, appreciating their commitment to evoking emotions and experiences of ancient cultures.
The band’s members are Kai Uwe Faust, a German tattoo artist and throat singer specializing in Old Norse tattoos; Christopher Juul, a Danish composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who established his recording studio, Lava, in Copenhagen in 2003; and Maria Franz, a singer, and performer who also sang in the progressive rock/pop-rock band Euzen. Each member contributes their unique talents and perspectives, resulting in a rich and diverse musical experience that transcends traditional genre boundaries.
Founded in 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Heilung initially came to life when Faust and Juul struck a deal for Faust to receive free tattoos in exchange for Juul’s help recording poems. In 2015, Maria Franz began collaborating with Heilung as a session vocalist before becoming the band’s third official member. That same year, Heilung self-released their debut album, Ofnir.
Heilung’s live performances are an essential part of their artistry, as they create immersive, multisensory experiences for their audiences. Shows often feature elaborate stage setups with atmospheric lighting, fog, and other visual effects. Additionally, band members and accompanying performers wear historically inspired costumes and body paint, enhancing the overall atmosphere.
Their music is based on texts and runic inscriptions from Germanic peoples of the Iron Age and Viking Age and often centers around Germanic deities, Jǫtnar, and Valkyries. Heilung’s philosophy seeks to connect listeners with the past and inspire a sense of unity and spiritual healing. Describing their music as “amplified history from early medieval northern Europe,” Heilung appeals to a wide range of listeners, from fans of folk and world music to those interested in ambient and experimental sounds.
Heilung’s impact on the music scene has been significant, inspiring other artists to explore similar themes and styles. Their dedication and authenticity have made them standout acts in the world of experimental and historical music. In their relatively short history, they have already performed at notable events such as Castlefest and Midgardsblot Metal Festival, signed with record label Season of Mist, and released multiple albums. Their music has been featured in the popular television series Vikings and the video game Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, further solidifying their presence in the entertainment industry. See more on their website.