Nøkken + The Grim is the feral call of subjugated beasts, of animal spirits enduring the coldness of human cruelty and mechanization.
We are grim, animal outcasts. We are creatures who have fled our homes. We look at our estranged human brothers and sisters, and they look back at us as uncivilized beasts. They run from us. They conquer the wild places. Our kin go extinct.
No words can capture the loss. No words can save our homes in the forests, deserts and wildlands. Yet we must speak. Our words are without language: the clawing, biting, scraping, snorting, the pounding of hooves, the anguished howls and hisses. We dwell in the mind where the false logics of human supremacy cannot reach.
We lament the death of the wilderness, the living, animate world, of the Earth Mother whose body is torn apart by humanity’s insatiable hunger. We sing of the sublimity of animal life, of wild upheavals, of feral magics. We year for humanity to hear the primordial rhythms it has forgotten—to rewild its spirit and rejoin us.
Lead violinist Nøkken is a Nordic horse spirit of water and rhythm. Legends have told of this wild trickster, shapeshifter and fiddler who lures humans to their watery demise. Nøkken draws inspiration from his Norse and Magyar folkroots, the older animistic and shamanic pathways, and his kinship with nonhuman life. He is joined by Ajatar on viola, the Finnish dragoness, mother of nature spirits and bearer of forbidden knowledge. Peryton, The Black Stag performs on electronics and winds. He was once the Magyar White Stag of legend. His feathers and fur have turned black with soot, and his desecrated spirit rages in agony, fused with technology.
Nøkken (center) is a Norse water spirit and shapeshifter, a creature of horror and allure. In bygone days, the spirit would seduce humans with his fiddling or as a seemingly tame horse (the bäckahäst) offering himself to be ridden. Those who would fall under his spell would witness his true form as they drowned: a monstrous tangle of fangs and river plants. He has guarded the sacred wild places from human trespassers.
Peryton, The Black Stag (right) performs on electronics and winds. Formerly the White Stag of Hungarian legend who guided the sons Hunor and Magor to become the Huns and Magyar tribes, his fur and feathers have been scorched black with the soot of modern industry. Driven to madness, he has infested humanity’s machines with his wild calls of agony.
Ajatar (left), the Finnish witch of the woods, mother of woodland spirits, is sometimes a woman and sometimes a violent serpent. Like Tiamat, she carries with her forbidden knowledge, the touch of which drives humans insane. Once recognized as an aspect of divine nature, she was corrupted by mankind’s misunderstanding into a bearer of pestilence and death.