<   GARMARNA   >

Sundsvall, Sweden

the band
Emma Härdelin: vocals, violin, flute
Stefan Brisland-Ferrer: violins, viola, hurdy-gurdy, bowed hard, Jew's harps, backing vocals, rhythm
Jens Höglin: drums and percussion
Gotte Ringqvist: lute, violin, bowed harp, Jew's harps, backing vocals, rhythm
Rickard Westman: bouzouki and guitars

partial discography
Garmarna EP (Massproduktion 1993)
Vittrad (Withered) CD (Massproduktion/Omnium 1994)
Guds Spelemän (God's Musicians) CD (Massproduktion/Northside 1996)
Herr Holger single (Massproduktion 1996)
En Gång Ska Han Gråta single (1997)
"En Gång Ska Han Gråta" (acoustic version) on Nordic Roots coll (Northside 1998)
Gamen single (1999)
Vedergällningen (Vengeance) CD (Massproduktion/Northside 1999)
Euchari single (Massproduktion 1999)

further reading
The "Garm-portal" - links to their two official webpages (one at their Swedish record label, Massproduktion, and one at their US record label, Northside) plus fan sites, pictures, a guestbook....

Garmarna in the All Music Guide.

wee reviews, unsubstantiated opinions, etc.
Maybe not technically metal, but still heavy, and scarier than King Diamond. Gory medieval Swedish ballads sung and played as befits their gruesomeness.

Where to start with Garmarna? Anywhere, really, it all depends on what you like best. Their first full-length, Vittrad, is pretty raw - not rough, not amateurish, but it has this great gritty energy and you can really tell that they were young (average age something like 20 at that point) and crazy.

Their second full-length, Gud's Spelemän, is more polished and complicated, and heavier. It's probably the closest they've come to "metal" (which is not very close, but that's okay). The Herr Holger single is from this record, and includes alternate edits of two other album tracks.

After Gud's Spelemän came Garmarna's entry in the 1997 EuroVision song contest, "En Gång Ska Han Gråta," a modern song written for them by two non-band members whose names escape me. I adore the acoustic version of the song that appears on the Nordic Roots compilation and I've been looking for the European CD single for years (if you find a copy and want to pass it on, I'll kiss you on the mouth, I swear!).

Vedergällningen (Vengeance) is their third full-length - less rock, less acoustic (there are some noises that can't readily be traced back to any given instrument, and some vocal overdubs), and beautifully recorded and produced by Sank (who did a lot of Killing Joke's records). Listen to it with headphones on, it's an experience!

The Gamen and Euchari singles are both from Vedergällningen, and I believe both include non-album tracks. Euchari is a collaboration with Hildegard von Bingen (yeah, the nun, but don't be scared! Garmarna's Bingen songs are not the wimpy toothless type that were so popular a few years ago). They've apparently been doing a lot of Bingen songs live (including a few all-Bingen shows) and there are rumors of an all-Bingen album sometime in the future.

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