Jocko Willink sets his alarm clock to play “Iron Swan” every morning at 4:30am to wake up, workout, and roll Jiu Jitsu. The song is by the Texas retro-metal band The Sword.
The song is about a Viking ship (the “iron swan”) preparing for battle and adventure on “seas of blood.” It embarks with a relaxed Nordic European intro that gives way to a powerfull early 1981-ish distorted riff that will wake you up.
If you’re looking for some good “Viking rock,” The Sword’s first album Age of Winters is all over it.
The Sword’s music ranges from Viking themes (Age of Winters) to futuristic space travel (Warp Riders). Their initial album of Age of Winters in particular geeks out with topics about wolves, hunting, aurochs, ships, battle, and magical swords. Some might object that it’s pagan (of the German/Nordic variety). Yes, that’s true. However, Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre is dripping Germanic pre-Christian religious tradition…and it makes for excellent listening.
I listen to it as JRR Tolkien would read Nordic myths. The Christian man can enjoy an homage to pre-Christian legend and adventure: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Beowulf come to mind. Shakespeare’s King Lear is also an example.
Contemporary music has lost its thumos. If you want some guitar-driven thumos rock, this it. It’s great for lifting and running and anything require “spiritedness.”
Give a listen to “Iron Swan.” Tell us what you think in the comments.