Power metal is a subgenre of metal in which a band sings about fantasy, mythology, emotions, personal struggles, and even war and death. Most of the time, a story is told throughout a song, teaching listeners about a mythological god, a historical event, or the band’s personal theme.
Learning from Lyrics is a biweekly column that will choose a band and one of their songs, then break down the lyrics to fully understand the story they’re trying to tell.
Brothers of Metal hails from the northern land of Sweden and they deliver power metal with the lyrical themes of vikings and their mythology. Even their attire and the way they present themselves on their social media stays true to their theme. In fact, when researching them, I couldn’t find a serious description of the band. Their biography on Facebook is this:
Image from Facebook
Their song “Njord” is the first single from their upcoming second studio album, Emblas Saga, which is releasing on Jan. 10. The song is a tribute to the Norse god, Njord. Unlike the previous Learning from Lyrics where I went through most of the lyrics and explained the significance of them, I’m only going to include a few lyrics that have significance to Njord’s story or his significance to the Vikings.
The beginning of the song doesn’t really have any significance to Njord but is rather setting up the “story” of the song. A group of Vikings is setting said west to achieve great wealth.
I’ll also be describing the story of this group and trying to put historical significance to the story.
“Mothered by the night,
His senses sharp and keen,
Shaper of the greatest winds,
A viking’s ever seen”
The first line “Mothered by the night” references Njord’s supposed mother, Nótt, the goddess of night. This is just a theory as not much is known about Njord’s origins. The third line describes one of his roles in the Norse mythos, that being the god of winds.
The verse immediately after this describes his other roll:
“The moonlit sea, the raging storm,
His will and his domain,
Bend the sea, oh God of waves,
And guide us through the wind and rain”
Njord is also associated with the sea and sea-faring. The vikings in this song are calling upon him to help guide them through the raging storm they’ve encountered on sea. Interestingly enough, Njord had almost a cult-like following in those times. He isn’t as popular as Thor or Odin, but he was still very influential. In the third poem of the Poetic Edda, Vafþrúðnismál, it describes that Njord was “Rich in temples and shrines he rules” and was even highly worshipped in eastern Sweden during an early period in history.
Toward the end of the song, the band’s appropriately named “Tongue of the Gods,” Mats Nilsson, recites an almost poetic verse:
“He is the crushing force of the waves,
The awesome power of winds,
Guides us to wealth of coin,
And brings death upon those untrue.”
This verse quickly describes what Njord is the god of: waves and wind; however, this mighty god has one more thing he’s associated with, and that is wealth. The wealth part was so important to his personality that many sought him when they wanted to become wealthy.
Not much is known about this mighty Norse sea god other than the above, as well as him being one of the only gods to survive Ragnarok, the destruction of basically everything. He was one of the principal Vanir gods and, as you saw, is still talked about today.
Brothers of Metal may not tell full historical stories like Sabaton; however, they tell stories of Viking legends and myths. They teach their audience about how awesome these northern warriors from their mythology were to how they fought in battle. No matter what Brothers of Metal sings about next, their audience will always find a way to learn from their lyrics.
Featured Image: Tt Shinkan