The Song That Plays at the End of “Metalhead”

My favorite scene in Icelandic film Metalhead is the last one. I guess it’s only appropriate a film about music ends with awesome music, right? The movie follows Hera, a young woman who turns to heavy metal as a coping mechanism after the death of her brother. However, her rock lifestyle contradicts with the rest of her conservative village, making her an outsider. As the rest of her peers settle into boring jobs working on farms, Hera has dreams of becoming a rock star. After her demo tape lands on the desk of three foreigners, the four of them decide to perform an original song together at the town’s only music venue. The last scene in the film is Hera performing “Svarthamar,” a song so good that after watching the movie I went online to search for the full version.

The song is produced by Icelandic musician Petur Ben, who also produced the film’s soundtrack. Surprisingly, Ben’s personal music sounds quite different. In the movie, Hera wins over her town with this song, which playfully balances fragile vocals with the more abrasive side of heavy metal. However, the song’s a lot more powerful if you watch it within the context of the film. Regardless, if you’re interested in either the film or the soundtrack, I recommend you check out both. You can find the film through some creative Google searches, and the soundtrack is streaming via Bandcamp.

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