Garmarna’s Guds Spelemän (Gods Musicians) shows an innovative band that’s growing ever stronger and more confident. This album highlights the the beautiful voice of Emma Härdelin; she’s now developed beyond a promising young singer to one of the best.
As with their previous disc Vittrad, the band have excavated the dark side of the Swedish tradition to bring forth haunting melodies and lyrics filled with blood, guts, and doomed maidens.
In the Swedish lyrics, a fleeing pregnant woman is slashed to death by a werewolf, and a handsome young man barely escapes the clutches of a horny mountain troll. Just in case these stories are too nice for you, caterpillars devastate a river valley, a girl’s lover is pulled from her arms and hacked to death by her seven brothers, and a tax collector is beheaded and sent to Hell. (The CD booklet provides English translations.)
Produced by Sank (Killing Joke, Drain STH, Clawfinger, Paradise Lost), Gods Musicians envelops the listener in a spacious yet dense environment, where the hurdy-gurdy’s drone and the meaty thuds of the tom-toms support original melodies welded to ancient tales of gore.
At the gala presentations for The Swedish Grammy Awards held in Stockholm on Monday February 17th 1997 the Grammy for best folk music album was awarded to Garmarna for this album.