Heilung (Jäähalli, Helsinki) – 30/10/2022

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Heilung has become an absolute phenomenon. Not only they make wonderful music, but live they are an absolute sight to behold. It’s a celebration of everything from our ancestors, the connectivity with nature and each other, and is simply a religious and otherworldly experience. Now, I’ve caught them twice before already, both at Tuska festival in Helsinki. And while those shows were absolutely amazing, I still felt there was something missing. Their performances work best when the whole crowd is there to connect with Heilung has to offer the world and at a metal festival, it just often doesn’t work as well as it could. So I was eager to see what the vibe and atmosphere would be like when catching them at a venue with a headlining show, where everyone there traveled to see and experience Heilung.

Lili Refrain

I’m a sucker for the immense talent that artists show when they do all the instrumentation on their own through the means of live recording and looping sounds. And Lili Refrain is someone that embodies that artistry to the core. She used bells, guitar, drum and her voice to cobble together a mesmerizing soundscape that early on brought some sonic magic to the Jäähalli arena, creating a sort of intimacy that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to get at a venue this size. While at first she might have seemed as somewhat of an odd choice to open for a band like Heilung, the way she managed to pour out pure atmosphere was very reminiscent to how the main act molds and blends weird instruments into something that seems to come from another world. And while the time she got to do her thing felt a little bit too short for my liking, it was an absolutely great introduction to an intriguing artist.


Mami Wata


Eivør is another one of those extremely talented musicians and artists in what she does. After having seen her at Tavastia earlier this year (for the report go here and the photo report here), it honestly wasn’t soon enough to see her live again. While she has a wide variety of music styles throughout her work, fittingly so she focused more strongly on her Nordic folk inspired songs with a healthy amount of tracks she helped to compose for ‘The Last Kingdom‘ series with ‘The Last Kingdom’, ‘Lívstræðrir‘ and ‘Helig‘ besides the songs ‘Stirdur Saknur‘ (recorded with Einar Selvik from Wardruna) and ‘Gullspunnin‘ from her latest full-length ‘Segl‘, and of course fan favorite ‘Trøllabundin‘. Most of the time with her shamanic drum in her hands, it was really a pure delight to see her do a show that mostly evolved around that more pagan inspired Nordic folk. Especially since I got to know and love her work when I discovered her with that iconic ‘Trøllabundin‘ song. And of course, a great segue into the magical ritual that was about to take place with Heilung.


The Last Kingdom
Stirdur Saknur


After a nice warm-up by the 2 lovely ladies from the supporting acts, you could feel the anticipation steadily rise in the room. When the collective that is Heilung live came on stage, they engaged in their usual opening ceremony standing in a circle on the huge ceremonial stage carpet they have, bringing their prayer about nature and the connection we have with each other, stating we’re all brothers and sisters. It’s rather remarkable that a venue as big as Jäähalli manages to be as quiet as it was during the ceremony, an already early good indicator that with a crowd that is there purely for Heilung, magic will happen. Which also translated into a large portion of the crowd howling back at Kai Uwe Faust whenever he belted out one of his howls, and an almost pulsating kind of energy in the room. For those who know Heilung and what they are about live, you know what to expect already: harmonizing vocals, hundreds of different tiny sounds all blending together in a trance-inducing wall of sound, a group of crazed warriors with spears and shields, a binding ritual, … I would have maybe liked to get more than the one ‘Anoana‘ track from their recently released ‘Drif‘, but with all the amazing songs they already have, who am I to complain.

Heilung is simply an experience, an otherworldly, mesmerizing, magical event that is as unique as the artistry that is poured into every little part of Heilung from stage decoration and production, to merch, to even the atmosphere created in between bands by projecting runes and shamanic symbols on the walls and ceiling of the venue. If you haven’t been able to catch the ritual that is a Heilung show, we highly recommend you do some time in the future. The only way I can top this now, is getting to see them in a unique setting that is a perfect fit for what Heilung does.


Opening ceremony
In Maidjan
Hamrer Hippyer
Closing ceremony

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