Heilung is an experimental folk music band made up of members from Denmark, Norway, and Germany.[3] Their music is based on texts and runic inscriptions from Germanic peoples of the Bronze Age[citation needed], Iron Age, and Viking Age. Heilung describe their music as "amplified history from early medieval northern Europe". Their music is usually about Germanic deities, The Jǫtnar, and valkyries. "Heilung" is a German noun meaning "healing" in English.[4]

Heilung performing at Roskilde Festival, 2018
Heilung performing at Roskilde Festival, 2018
Background information
(Germany, Denmark, Norway)[1]
Years active2014–present
LabelsSeason of Mist
  • Kai Uwe Faust
  • Christopher Juul
  • Maria Franz


Heilung was founded in 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark by vocalist Kai Uwe Faust (a German tattoo artist who specializes in Old Norse tattoos) and Danish producer Christopher Juul.[1] Juul, who'd operated his own recording studio, Lava, in Copenhagen since 2003, admired Faust's visual work as a tattoo artist, so they struck a deal: Faust offered Juul some free tattoos in exchange for help recording some poems. Thus was Heilung started.

Later in 2015 Maria Franz (Juul's longtime girlfriend and a singer in progressive rock/pop-rock band Euzen in which Juul also played piano and electronics) started to work with Heilung - originally as a session vocalist. In 2015, the band self-released their debut album, Ofnir, and soon after that Maria Franz became the band's third official member.

The band's first performances in 2017 were at Castlefest and at the Midgardsblot Metalfestival. The Castlefest performance was recorded and released with the title Lifa on YouTube and as a live album.[5] Their 2017 performance at Midgardsblot was listed by Metal Hammer[6] as one of the ten best performances of 2017. Later that year, the band signed a contract with the label Season of Mist.

On 20 April 2018, the two previously self-released albums Ofnir and Lifa were reissued on vinyl and CD.[7][3]

The band will compose the soundtrack for Senua's Saga: Hellblade II.[8]

Fragments of Heilung's music were used during season six of the popular television series Vikings.[9]


According to Faust, the name of the band "Heilung", healing in German, says something about the style of the band: "The listener is supposed to be left at ease and in a relaxed state after a magical musical journey that is at times turbulent".[4] The recordings of the band are not limited to music, but also contain poems.

The references to the early ages of European Civilization are also made by using texts from historical artefacts or historical poems. The languages used are varied, with German, English, Gothic, Old High German, Icelandic, Old English, Proto-Norse, Proto-Germanic, and Viking age Old Norse being used.

As instruments, items are used that may have been already available to humans in the Iron Age, such as drums, bones or spears.

According to an August 2018 interview, the instruments they use consist of:[10]

  • drums, including one with horse skin painted with human blood, two drums with deerskin and a drum with goatskin
  • bones, including a human forearm bone and deer bones
  • a buffalo horn rattle
  • a clay rattle with human ashes
  • a Hindu ritual bell
  • antiques from temples
  • a reconstructed silver cup from the Viking age
  • a ravanahatha (an ancient instrument used in India, Sri Lanka and surrounding areas, originating from Hela People, then brought to North India by Hanuman, then to India.[11])
  • other rattles, whistles and percussive instruments

Faust's throat singing recalls the Tibetan or Mongolian style. Juul uses a chirping whisper as vocals.

Elaborately designed costumes are worn by the band members on stage. These are partly based on the "spiritual traditions of the Eurasian circumpolar peoples", or are historically correct reproductions of Nordic Bronze Age clothing.


Current members

  • Kai Uwe Faust – vocals (2014–present)
  • Christopher Juul – music, production (2014–present)
  • Maria Franz – vocals (2015–present)

Session/touring musicians

  • Jonas Lorentzen
  • Juan Pino
  • Alex Opazo
  • Jacob Lund

Show group ("Heilung warriors")

  • Marijn Sies
  • Ruben Terlouw
  • Pan Bartkowiak
  • Faber Horbach
  • Jens de Vries
  • Eigen Leon Remie
  • Gwydion Zomer



  • Ofnir (2015) (self-released, reissued 2018 on Season of Mist)
  • Lifa (2017) (Season of Mist) (live album)
  • Futha (2019) (Season of Mist)
  • Drif (2022) (Season of Mist)


Heilung was nominated in the Best Underground Band category for a Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award in 2018.[12]

Heilung tied for the World Traditional Award in the 18th Independent Music Awards with the song Norupo.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Reed, Ryan (15 February 2018). "How Denmark's Heilung Are Creating "Amplified History" With Human Bones, Throat Singing". Revolver. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  2. ^ Chapstick, Kelsey (16 December 2019). "Heilung to Soundtrack New 'Hellblade' Video Game: See Brutal, NSFW Trailer". Revolver. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Heilung (Amplified History / Neofolk)". Season of Mist. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b Thorley, Andy (4 December 2017). "Featured Band: Heilung". Maximum Volume Music. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  5. ^ Heilung (1 November 2017). "LIFA – Full Show". YouTube. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  6. ^ "The 10 best gigs of 2017". Metal Hammer. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  7. ^ Malt, Andy (5 February 2018). "One Liners: Justin Timberlake, Albert Hammond Jr, Queen and Adam Lambert, more". Complete Music Update. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  8. ^ Watson, Chris (16 December 2019). "The Heilung group will make the soundtrack of Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2". Free Game Tips.
  9. ^ Reeder (30 June 2020). "HEILUNG Music Used In Popular 'Vikings' Series". www.metaladdicts.com. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  10. ^ Zorzi, Marika (4 August 2018). "The Grand Fashion of Heilung & Their Iconic Sound". New Noise. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Ravanahatha", Wikipedia, 28 August 2021, retrieved 11 November 2021
  12. ^ "The Golden Gods Awards 2018 nominations are live – vote now". Metal Hammer. 29 March 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  13. ^ "The 18th Independent Music Awards Winners". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved 26 January 2021.