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Music / Chieftain

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Chieftain is a series of narrative songs produced by Clamavi de Profundis, which follows the story of Bjorn Erikson, the son of a Viking chieftain as he leads his tribe on a voyage of conquest, eager to prove the Vikings' might and military prowess. But on one fateful expedition to plunder the monasteries Northern Scotland, Bjorn faces Fr. Edvard, a former-Viking-turned-Christian-monk, who will challenge the chieftain's son's beliefs about what it means to be strong.

The videos are composed, sung and illustrated by Clamavi de Profundis and his family.

     Song titles 
  1. Strong (released Feb 29, 2020)
  2. Árstiðir (released Mar 21, 2020)
  3. Hidden Helper (released Mar 31, 2020)

The series provides an example of:

  • Barbarian Tribe: The Vikings as a whole are depicted a bloodthirsty tribe who goes to raid other lands to make a name for themselves and proudly sings about purging the lands of the weak.
    "We are strong
    We will purge the weak
    We will show no mercy
    We will take our plunder
    As the God of Thunder."
  • Deus ex Machina: A literal one occurs when Bjorn tries to kill Fr. Edvard near the end of the first song, and is stopped by an angel.
  • Ethereal Choir: "Strong" is mainly composed of powerful riffs and loud beats, but is interspersed with two segments of softer chorals.
    • The first was sung by the Viking women, who bids farewell to their men as they leave for the mainlands. The melody is both sorrowful and uplifting, and sounds almost hymnal despite being the only section that doesn't mention the gods/God.
    • As the Vikings approaches the monastery to raid the place, the song segues into a Latin chorus sung by the monks—who, despite having no means to defend themselves or fight back against their attackers, remain fearless in the face of almost certain death. Their serenity is meant to symbolize inner / spiritual strength, which contrasts the Vikings' inclination towards brute force and physical strength.
  • Four Seasons: The second song, "Árstiðir", uses the four season motifs to depict the stages of life. The Spring segment is sung by a young child named Kaia, who views life as joyful and carefree. Her older sister, Brigit, who is a teen or young adult, sings the summer section, and she expresses her desire to shape her destiny and build a foundation for a better future while acknowledging that life has its share of pain. Autumn is sung by Hulda, a middle-aged mother who has experienced a fair share of troubles, but still strives to persevere. The final segment, winter, is sung by an elderly woman who is nearing the end of her life and, as she prepares for her final rest, reminisces about the good things in life, while forgetting the pain.
  • Guardian Angel: "Hidden Helper" expresses a young girl's belief towards an unseen protector who gives hope in times of darkness.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: The creators state that conversion and redemption is one of the major themes of Chieftain's story.
    • According to the first song's description, Fr. Edvard was once a Viking, who, like Bjorn, had attempted to raid a monastery, but was fatally wounded during his exploits and was rescued by the monks he had attempted to plunder (while his former comrades likely abandoned him). When his monastery is then invaded by another Viking tribe, Fr. Edvard prays for God to grant mercy to his attackers.
    • Bjorn himself is going through a similar spiritual journey after his encounter with Fr. Edvard, and the latter helps the former navigate what the faith really means.
  • Horny Vikings: The Vikings in the series are portrayed as typical a Proud Warrior Race who invade and plunder other land in the name of glory. They don't wear horned helmets, though.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: An unnamed viking shown in the third scene of "Strong" is a very obvious Shout-Out of Sabaton's Joakim Brodén.
  • Villain Protagonist: The first song is told form the POV of a group of brutal invaders who raid and plunder other civilizations to loot their gold and claim glory for themselves, and would gleefully murder defenceless monks to achieve this goal.  
  • You Killed My Father: Defied in "Hidden Helper"'s song description, where Bjorn tells Fr. Edvard that his father has been slain by a chieftain of another tribe. However, he has chosen not to retaliate against Ulf because of his newfound faith.