ENSLAVED's Ivar Bjørnson: 5 criminally underrated Norse gods | Revolver

ENSLAVED's Ivar Bjørnson: 5 criminally underrated Norse gods

From glow-in-the-dark boars to the personification of manure
ivar enslaved GETTY 2019, Per Ole Hagen/Redferns
photograph by Per Ole Hagen/Redferns

Revolver has teamed with Enslaved for an exclusive white 2LP vinyl variant of Heimdal — limited to 200. Get yours now!

Norwegian extreme-metal juggernaut Enslaved recently released their 16th full-length, the cinematic, progressive Heimdal, which takes its title from what the band have described as "one of the most fascinating characters of [Norse] mythology." Son of Odin, Heimdal looks out for the coming of Ragnarök, a.k.a. the "Doom of the Gods," from his dwelling Himinbjörg, where the burning rainbow bridge Bifröst meets the sky.

The character has been "lurking around in our minds like an enigma for three decades now," according to Enslaved, making his first appearance in their song "Heimdallr" on the group's demo 1992 tape, Yggdrasill, and he's popped up multiple times in their "lyrical universe" over the years since. "This time we have decided to dedicate an entire body of work to this most enigmatic of characters and richest of archetypes," Enslaved announced back in November.

Considering the album's source material, we asked guitarist-composer Ivar Bjørnson to tell us about a few of his other favorite, more obscure gods and goddesses from Norse mythology. Here are his picks for the five most criminally overlooked deities, with AI-generated art by Lambert Fernando.


Lofn, the Comforter

Norse Mythology keep being "marketed" as loud, epic, violent and somewhat macho. No wonder Lofn gets forgotten, as she [is a] goddess for the small and helpless. The world certainly needs a strong comeback.


Vidar, the Silent God

If there is one useful and necessary quality that is underrated, it is being silent now and then. Vidar, take my sacrifice and shut them all up for a moment.


Elli, the personification of old age

She is one of the few that has beaten Thor himself in a wrestling match. Aging, decay and death is also part of the human experience — why pretend it is not there? Elli should come down hard on Butoxy, the goddess of facelifts and duck lips.


The boar Gullinbursti

One of the most metal deities is the boar Gullinbursti. There is a lot to be said about him, but he wins any "Most Metal" competition by his two most prominent features: his bristles are made of gold [which] helps him glow in the dark.



Finally, there is Beyla, who has the best slogan: "Beyla, the goddess of bees, honey and also the personification of manure."