Go Berserker With The Northman Soundtrack, Which Is Now Streaming

Grab your (Nordic) weapons, it's time to luxuriate in the soundscape of Robert Eggers' epic Viking saga, "The Northman." The soundtrack for "The Northman" is currently streaming, and this 43-track album is meant to transport you to the Scandinavian countryside while installing a wide range of emotions within. Composers Robin Carolan and Sebastian Gainsborough have crafted a musical canvas that reflects the harsh, unforgiving world of "The Northman," and the pay-off is spectacular.

Check out the entire soundtrack for "The Northman" below.

Rage, revenge, and folk mysticism

"The Northman" is set in 900 AD Iceland and follows Prince Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård), who witnesses the murder of his father (Ethan Hawke) at the hands of his villainous uncle. Driven by the fire to enact revenge, Amleth must return home and rescue his mother, kill his uncle, and reclaim his rightful throne. While the narrative follows the familiar beats of a revenge saga — filled with prophecies, inner conflict, and harsh conditions — "The Northman" takes it up a notch further, portraying Viking history on the big screen as authentically as possible.

Carolan and Gainsborough's job as composers for the film proved to be a complex, layered one, as they were tasked to authentically capture the feel of the film, namely the rugged, savage, emotions that it evokes throughout. Carolan spoke about this aspect, and how the score was meant to reflect the hardships of the characters and the world that the film portrayed (via Pitchfork):

"The world of The Northman is hard. Everything is covered in dirt and everyone looks rough, so the score had to mirror the hardship of being alive at that time...I feel really proud that we were able to come up with something that Rob's [Eggers] happy with. I wouldn't say he's easy to please."

Interestingly, both composers had to depart from their usual instruments (electronic synthesizers and the like) and turn to a more archaic method of creating music for the film, with the help of Danish musician Poul Høxbro. Høxbro helped them get a hand on instruments such as the tagelharpa (which functions like a lyre to an extent) and the langspil (a string instrument from the zither family).

The use of these instruments imparts the soundtrack with an indescribable aura, one that is shrouded in ominous mystery and a sense of the unknown. The result is nightmarish (in a good way), not unlike the sound of Viking metal bands such as Týr and tracks such as "A Fine Day to Die" by Bathory. Looks like it's time to go full berserker.

"The Northman" will hit theaters on April 22, 2022.