Ice and Longboats: Ancient Music of Scandinavia

Reviewed on Tue 16 Aug, 2016

It’s a vivid musical tale told via a wealth of authentically antique instrumental and vocal music, from the harsh braying calls of the Viking 'Signals to the Aesir Gods' to selections from the 1582 collection of medieval Latin songs, the 'Piae Cantiones'.

Imagine if you will (and it’s not too much of a stretch) that 'Ice and Longboats' is the soundtrack to a movie in which our Viking protagonists are first encountered doing all their boisterous, pagan Viking-y things – hard drinking, celebrating the gods of Valhalla – to the strident sounds of bone flutes, animal horns and drums; but things gradually change as those do-gooding monks show up, singing their Latin anthems and generally making converts of the fearsome warriors, until at last old Harald Bluetooth declares his fief a Christian kingdom, the former pagans crusade to convert Finland, and even start singing their own home-made Scandinavian chants and hymns. It’s a vivid musical tale told via a wealth of authentically antique instrumental and vocal music, from the harsh braying calls of the Viking 'Signals to the Aesir Gods' to selections from the 1582 collection of medieval Latin songs, the 'Piae Cantiones'. A fascinating fantasy soundtrack.
–Mark Walker