The video of Destroying Angel is from the album Palace Of Tears, shot just over a week ago here in Sweden with the help of film makers Jens Th and Carsten Jensen, the actor Julia Von Heideken and Fylkir Fra Halakoti (the proud Icelandic horse). The location was ’Stillhetsön’ or ‘Island of Stillness’ at Falökna in Sörmland, previously known as ‘Trollön’ or ‘Island Of Trolls’.
The instrumentation is sparse, just cello and harmonium, with some notes from the kantele and the occasional peal of a tubular bell. The song is a cautionary tale, here is what I wrote about it in the notes to my song book..
The forest in Sweden is a dangerous place and in the old days it was even more dangerous. Not just because you could get lost, attacked by wild animals, robbed or murdered, but because it was a place of temptation. In the villages everyone knew what was going on but what happened in the forest was out of sight.
There were many legends to warn of the dangers of temptation in the forest. A young man might meet a beautiful woman on a lonely forest path, it could be the spirit called Skogsrå and if he didn’t notice the end of a tail coming out from the bottom of her long skirt, she could get him into into deep trouble, and not just with the priest. The old Gods, elves and spirits have vanished into the morning mists now, but temptation remains. The song is called Destroying Angel after the English name for a mushroom, known in Latin as amanita amanita, small, white, beautiful and deadly.