Latvian folk pagan metal band heading to Sao Paulo

Latvia will be getting a mention in Sao Paolo, Brazil at the ThorHammerFest this 20th November when Latvian folk pagan metal band Skyforger take to the stage and belt out some heavy Latvian folk tunes. This year Skyforger will be main group performing at the festival.

Formed in 1995 Skyforger, over the years, the group released 6 CDS, all with titles mentioning ancient, modern and mythical warrior themes: Kauja pie Saules, Latviešu strēlnieki, Pērkoņkalve, Zobena dziesma, Zemgaļu karadziesma, Kurbads.

Skyforger’s main vocalists and instrumentalists are Pēteris, and two Edgars (one nicknamed “Mazais”, the other – “Zirgs”), with Egons (of Iļģi fame) joining the group 4 years later.

The group’s name, Skyforger comes from the Latvian phrase “Debesu kalējs”, the lyrical title for the ancient Latvian god, Pērkons. According to the group’s manager, Andis Mikainis “Hopkins” “we find it important to sing in Latvian about mythological themes and to inform about mythological themes significant events in Latvia’s history.

Skyforger are currently working on their seventh album which will focus on the Prussians, one of the ancient Baltic tribes, with a language that was considered as the third, now extinct,  language in the Baltic language group. With this album the group hopes to enlighten the younger generation with little knowledge of the Prussians.

Skyforger have performed widely in Europe, the United States, and Russia, with concerts most frequently in Latvia, Lithuania, Germany and the Czech Republic. This will be the first time the folk pagan metal band heads to South America, to popularise its music where Skyforger will also include some Latvian folk songs in the concert repertoire.

Says Mikainis: “Unfortunately we won’t be home on the 18th November because we’ll already be in Frankfurt, on our way to Brazil. We will, of course, be celebrating Latvia’s birthday in our hotel room with a mini Latvian flag and lighting a candle in Latvia’s honour.”.





Daina Gross is editor of Latvians Online. An Australian-Latvian she is also a migration researcher at the University of Latvia, PhD from the University of Sussex, formerly a member of the board of the World Federation of Free Latvians, author and translator/ editor/ proofreader from Latvian into English of an eclectic mix of publications of different genres.

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