We play varied folk metal, where Norwegian lyrics, Hardanger fiddle and tin whistles meet heavy guitars and drums in a way that doffs the hat to 70's folk-rock and prog, but in a fresh new way.
If Iron Maiden and Jethro Tull had a kid, who was equally into Primus, Simon & Garfunkel and Norwegian folk music, it might sound distinctly like Elvarhøi.
Our debut album «Dansen låter fra graven åter» is the result of an explorative songwriting-process, that started at the band's inception in 2005, and the long journey to the finished product has given the material a maturity, depth and execution you'll seldom find on a debut album.
The songs range from epic, 8-minute metal anthems, to minimalist singer-songwriter ballads, and the whole forms an album that truly takes the listener on a wild Norwegian Folktale Adventure!
Folk metal from the turn of the century is nothing to scoff at. High in energy, new ideas and the whole genre was a big, white nothing in the middle of the heavy metal map. It was a witches cauldron — big, bulging & cast from black metal.
In this cauldron, we were boiled.
"a refreshment on the present folk metal-scene"— Nocturne Music Magazine
Elvarhøi was founded on October 30th 2004, by drummer Ivar Mauritz-Hansen and fiddler Magnus André Wandås to capture the spirit of the 1840s youthful Norwegian romanticism in a folk metal package.
They teamed up with Are Solheim on bass, Espen Kringlen on guitar, Ane Marie Anderson on recorder, Gustav Jørgen Pedersen on synth and vocals and Mari Elise Lerdal on vocals.
Together we made the national romantic EP «Fjellet Faller Aldri» (2006), made by our own hands; played, recorded, produced, burned and sold. All by our very selves.
Like all other demos, but this was with a 20-page full-colour booklet, fully illustrated, with lyrics and sheet music. 106 happy, individually numbered copies were made.
We toured eastern Norway with this material, topped by our three gigs together with the black metal humorists of Satanic Cowboys, for the enthusiastic youths of Nøtterøy. The tour ended in April 2008, when we had the material ready for a second EP.
We added Nora Krågebakk on vocals and recorded the EP «Viser fra reisen» (2008).
Through 2009 we played local clubs and town festivals around eastern Norway, now with Are on bass, Ivar on drums, Magnus on fiddle as well as our new friends Christopher Rakkestad on guitar and Ina Kierstine Olsen on vocals and synth.
We toured with this lineup, with some new and some old material, until we ceased all live playing after one last evening in 2010 when old and new members came together for one final concert together with genre heroes Glittertind and Trollfest.
We were sick of folk metal, a genre that never reached its potential. Our catalogue of unpublished material grew, but nothing worked. We sent our feelers out in all directions.
We played contemporary music, we played ambience and noise, we played Wardruna-inspired black metal, with Carl Engstrøm on drums and Sean Murphy on flutes.
But something was missing.
The rehearsal room turned dark again, but something was moving in the undergrowth.
Chris grabbed his travellers cane, put it in gear and sped his Chevy off into the land of the Thels. There he learnt the traditional music under the old masters.
With new-found wisdom, we set out to right old wrongs. What was wrong was in folk metal, what was right was to be found in folk music, prog and heavy metal.
The band began to take form. We stole guitarist Martin Langebraaten from a nearby band.
We produced and released three singles with an increasingly larger and stabler lineup, «Trolljuvshallingen» (2014), «Langt fra len og leite» (2016) and «Tolv Mand i Skove» (2017).
We were ready to play live again.
On December 21. 2018 we greeted the turning of the sun together with norsefolkers Byrdi and harpist Giulia Wyrd-Svartskog to fantastic response from the audience. Thus began the new era.
Elvarhøi anno 2019 are Christopher Rakkestad on bass and vocals, Magnus Wandås on Hardanger fiddle and vocals, Sean Murphy on flutes, Martin Langebraaten on electric and acoustic guitars and Carl Engstrøm on drums.
The core was never this clear. The debut album, «Dansen låter fra graven åter», is recorded and will be released on October 30th.
Pre-order it now, at https://elvarhoi.bandcamp.com/.