Thinking outside the Viking metal box with FORTÍÐ.

In the pagan mind, every end also marks a beginning. The Norse gods perish in a final battle of a chain of apocalyptic events called Ragnarök that witnesses the old world die in flames. Yet according to the prophetic poem “Völuspá”, they return on the next morning to a renewed world free from the old sins at the beginning of a new cycle.

If that didn’t get your attention, harsh black and death metal riffing as well as a pinch of thrash with a penchant for epic melodies, versatile vocals and a dose of “Icelandic sound” will do the trick.

I had a meaningful chat with FORTÍÐ about anything and everything. Except Viking clichés.

Welcome to MHF magazine.

“World Serpent” is an album that essentially consists of two halves of five songs each. Although both parts have diverging musical visions and even different line-ups, they complement each other rather than to constitute two separate entities. It seems impossible. How on earth did you manage that?

The whole album is written by me. That is one factor. I have a special musical style for Fortíð. The second factor is no less important and highly underrated. 

That is the mixing which is made by Terry Nikas (Scar of the Sun) who is also a sound engineer of SepticFlesh. 

For those who do not know; a common method today is to record guitars and bass with a so called “clean signal”. 

It means that there is no specific sound color on the instruments apart from what the instruments themselves and the musicians produce.

So in the mixing process, you can run this signal to any kind of amplifier and get the sound you want. This is how both parts have the same guitar and bass sound. 

The drums also have the same trigger sounds although they sound very different from each other straight from the studios where they were recorded.

I bet you know how popular scandi-pagan inspired series and films are at the moment. I know that you don’t want to get stuck in that Viking metal box but who would play you in the FORTÍÐ Netflix series?

I could play myself easily, haha. I am not sure who would watch Fortíð series on Netflix tho, to be honest.

I was listening to the Pandemic and I was wondering: Unable to tour –or leave the house for that matter, what do you do to feel more connected to your audience and get their feedback?

We are not a live band at all anyway. We are a two-member band and I think the whole Inquisition thing would not quite work for Fortíð. We rely on social media. Mostly Facebook. I am trying to get myself deeper into YouTube. This is very time consuming but we are building up an audience slowly and steadily.We might hire a couple of session musicians in the future and do some festivals but the plan is not to do extensive tours.

What are you most grateful for, right now, in this moment?

My wife and the rest of my family.

Let’s talk about the True Awakening. Was there a flash moment in your career as a musician that you had complete clarity, you knew exactly what needed to be done and that led you to success? Or it was more like series of trial and error kind of situation?

Trial and error for sure. From the rehearsals to the studio and album release, to the live shows/touring, merchandice, deals and contracts etc etc… I have pretty much fucked up in every corner. 

I really feel like I have made all the mistakes you can make in this business. It sounds bad but I think it is actually good.

How do you hygge? What shows, podcasts, or books are you making time for right now?

If I’m feeling lazy, I’m mostly searching for something to watch. But due to the current world crisis, there is not a whole lot being produced these days. It is the time to go back and revisit some old favourites.

You moved back from Norway to your native Iceland where you recorded five more songs aided by Kristján Einar Guðmundsson. What’s the dynamic between the two of you?

Dynamics are very good. We always had a positive flow when working together. Kristján joined my band Potentiam back in 2002. He then played on the 2003 Fortíð debut album. Back then he was the only drummer in Iceland that could play very fast and brutal black or death metal. I’m not exaggerating this. There was no one else! Potentiam was rather mid-tempo based and he was young and bored with that at the time I think. He wanted to blast. 

But he also got seriously into all kinds of technique rehearsals and would sit alone in the rehearsal place all day and practise them. Now he is heavily into Jazz elements and there is only a little bit of a hint of that on World Serpent.

Next album for sure we will utilize this a lot more and his skills overall. I think he needs to shine a lot more because I always regarded him as a world-class drummer. I will leave him plenty of space for this next time.

What’s the next step for the band and what will come after December 11th?

I continue writing song ideas. I already have a bunch of ideas. But at the moment the focus is to build a house. I will also build a recording studio which will be attached to that house. 

Once that is done, we can have plenty of time exploring those piled up riffs and ideas together. We didn’t even meet once for the World Serpent recordings. It will be different next time.

Until we meet again,


Current line-up
Einar Eldur Thorberg – vocals, guitars
Kristján Einar Guðmundsson – drums

Style: Pagan Metal