|Review: Thyrfing - Vanagandr|
Label: Despotz Records
Year released: 2021
Genre: Viking Metal
Review online: July 17, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 4/5 (80%) (5 Votes)
I can't speak to the previous output from Thyrfing, the long-running Swedish band that plays Viking metal, having never heard them prior to Vanagandr, their eighth full-length album dropping into my review queue. What I can say is that for me, the question with Viking metal, be it black like this or based on some other genre is, "does it make me feel like I'm somewhere else?" The short answer is "yes." Thyrfing combine the harsh vocals and buzzing guitars of black metal with underlying melodies courtesy of keyboards and strings, but only in such measure as to create a feeling of expanse all around, as if you are on a long boat at sea or in a field on the precipice of battle. There is no loss of power in songs like "Rötter" or the epic closer "Jordafärd" and you can almost hear swords being beaten on shields as these songs play. I don't know that this will blow anyone away with innovation, but the songs are well constructed and played with enough melodic hooks that they should be hanging around in your brain well after the album is over. While perhaps not at the same level, if bands like Summoning and Finsterforst are in your permanent rotation, I believe you will enjoy Vanagandr as well.
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