I recently came across some tracks by the Swedish folk rock group Garmarna. They continue to intrigue me. The group appears to be dormant at present, although its Web site is still active and its music and merchandise can still be purchased there. Northside, a Web site devoted to old Scandinavian and Norse music, says this about Garmarna:
Garmarna have a unique sound: firmly based in Swedish traditional music but influenced by the rock tradition they've all grown up with. They ignore the unwritten laws of how traditional music should be performed; they know no boundaries. The music is half new - and newly-written - and half traditional with ancient instrumentation next to sampled drum-loops, suggestive mouth harps, tender violins and distorted guitars.
There's more at the link.
Since I've been interested in ancient and old-time folk music all my life, with specific emphasis on British folk music as revived and reinterpreted by groups such as Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Pentangle, etc., this fits in very well with my musical tastes. I find Garmarna's music dark, somber, but definitely true to what I know of Norse mythology and culture. Here are a few songs of theirs from YouTube, with English translations of the lyrics.
That last one, 'Brun', with its theme of the faithless knight or adventurer who kidnaps maidens in order to murder them, reminds me very much of the old English song 'Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight'. In both songs, the evildoer comes to a sticky end. Here's Steeleye Span's rendition of 'The Elf Knight' - one of my favorites among their songs. You'll see the similarities in themes at once, particularly in the third verse of the latter song.
You'll find many more of Garmarna's songs on YouTube, as well as Steeleye Span's, of course. Both groups make interesting listening.