Viking Movie 'Severed Ways' Features Metal Soundtrack
Based on the Vinland sagas – documents detail Norse voyages to North America hundreds of years before Columbus – the film follows two Vikings who are abandoned by their expedition. "They decide they want to return home, which is sort of an impossible task, and have their story written in stone," Stone says. "They encounter Christian monks and there are Native Americans following and tracking them."
For Stone, choosing the soundtrack was as easy as picking his favorite songs. "It's all music I'm a fan of, most of which we were listening to out in the woods during filming," he says. Songs from Norwegian black metal bands Burzum and Dimmu Borgir were chosen specifically for their relevance to the story. "Varg Vikernes from Burzum is in jail for church burnings and murder, so it's not arbitrary," Stone says. "Things haven't changed much as far as the religious conflict of Vikings, Christianity, and paganism."
Two Dimmu Borgir tracks are featured in the film. "Entrance" plays over a church burning scene, while "In Death's Embrace" backs a headbanging scene. "There's a headbanging part where the Viking is going through a ritual blessing his camp and food as an offering to the gods," Stone says. "It might sound preposterous, but it's a primitive act that's a real ritual in a bunch of cultures."
Stone also includes Judas Priest's "Caviar and Meths" from their debut album in the buildup to a battle and Queens of the Stone Age's "Spiders and Vinegaroons," which is used "during a bloodbath." He also goes lighter, using Brian Eno's "From The Same Hill" to show a Viking's conversion to Christianity.
The film is playing in West Hollywood, Calif. until July 22, and comes out DVD on July 28.