Thyrfing – Vanagandr

Band: Thyrfing
Title: Vanagandr
Country: Sweden
Label: Despotz Records
Release Date: 27 August 2021
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording

Well, took a little break, surrounded myself with nature, huge trees, fresh pickable fruit growing beside roadsides, took as many moments as I could in the ocean, went fishing, walked beautiful forested trails, ate and drank so many good things. I was spoiled. We all need that step away sometimes.

 ow, I’m going to jump into this review of Thyrfing, hailing from Sweden. They’ve been around the underground Swedish metal scene since 1995, creating 7 full-length albums, and soon 8, with this new one I’m about to tell you about. Their chosen name THRYFING, is taken from a sword, a cursed blade (“Tyrfing”) of Norse Mythology, and this theme is loud and clear in the lyrics and imagery of this band.

For those not overly familiar with Thyrfing, they are black metal, blending strong influences of pagan and viking sounds, and let me tell you, this album, for those who are into those sounds, will blow you away. The last album released was in 2013, entitled “De odeslosa”, so this long- awaited album is looked forward to. Thyrfing stands amongst the most revered of the Viking/Pagan metal genre and this new album will again stamp that, and, offer so much more. Who are Thyrfing? Jens Ryden is vocals, Patrik Lindgren, guitars, Joakim Kristensson, Bass and Keyboards and Dennis Ekdahl, drums. All right, I’ve given you a small look into the who they are, now, lets get into the music!

First track, “Döp dem i eld” (Baptize them in Fire), jumping deep into the pagan/viking roots with that title. The music drops you hard into the Viking ways, with epic, booming speed drums, and musical sounds coming from a folk influence. Guitars jump in to feed Jen’s vocals which are powerful and echoey. Drums, so good, an underground heartbeat. This track grabs the listener and says, you, are listening to this. Second track, “Undergångens länkar” single notes of guitar, echoing and building to start. Giving that atmospheric edge, and again, epic, full listening to round it out. This track builds, and towards the end, echoes off to leave the listener wanting more. Excellent.

Third track, “Rötter”, hits right away, long drawn- out vocals and keyboard/guitar combo. Small classical section followed by the quintessential pagan/viking guitar and drum combo. Very catching. Vocals in my mind, are telling a tale, deep and guttural tone, and a surprising higher/lighter tone of vocal too. Loving the variety of sounds on this. Fourth song is “Fredlös”, ahh grabbing on, and the variety of this song bites in. Damn, great song, great flow and unity of drums, and guitar, and can’t not mention the vocals. Instrumental portion takes you on a journey, wild seas, and deep black shadowed forests come to mind. With fires, and families gathering, celebrating. Great great song.

Track five, “Järnhand” , different tone here with guitars, guitar and drums layer in and vocals are long reaching. Amazing break in the music, a brief melancholy, to blistering vocals, drums that counterpoint, and guitars that speak. Track six, “Håg och minne”, damn a horn sound, that reverberates, and a bird squawking, I see in my mind, a raven or a crow making this sound. Wow, this is so good, the guitar and drum, telling a story together. With the intro, this speaks to Viking influence very strongly. The instrumental in this, is touching, and also picking up fury and a battle in tone.

Track seven, “Träldomsord”, this gives the epic fullness of sound, and speed drums, yes! Guttural roaring vocals, and a harmonized section of singing. Powerful.

The track continues in that same vein, pulling and evidencing all that makes Thyrfing great. Track eight, “Jordafärd”, more of that horn sound, and wow, beautiful folk inspired sounds (Cello) sounding. Damn, that vocal paired with the slightly more melancholic sound of this track, leaves chills. Thyrfing pulling out all the stops in this their final track, and its force is felt. Fierce and damn good.

I’m going to say that if Viking and Pagan black metal is your thing, than this album is a must for your collection. After not having released an album since 2013, you really hear the pent up bursting of their voice and instruments basically announcing we are back and ready to go. Epic, and powerful, pagan and viking. These tracks hit hard and will be ones you return to, done right, by Thyrfing.

I give and 8/10 Metal Marie

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8/10 To Greatness and Glory!
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre**
#WeAreBlessedAltarZine
#TheZineSupportingTheUnderground

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