Released: 2000, HammerHeart Records
Here we have another band that fit into the “Viking Metal” style. In many aspects Thyrfing are black metal but with Viking imagery and some folk elements. Hailing from Sweden, this is the bands third release following Valdr Galga (1999) and the self-titled Thyrfing (1998).
I haven’t heard many bands that fit into this “Viking Metal” mold, but so far I still think Einherjer do it best (see review from last month). In comparison, Thyrfing stick more to the black metal vocal style with very few clean vocal parts. As a result of this one-dimensional vocal style, I sometimes lose interest while listening to the album – perhaps it’s just personal taste but hey, that’s what this is all about. This is the main complaint I have with the album; so many others who don’t mind the one style of vocals throughout the album may love it! There are melodic keyboard parts in all the songs, some clean guitars, song tempos are almost all mid-paced with no blast beating or double kicking head-bangers. It’s good stuff, but it just didn’t grab me immediately. Some songs on here are very cool like “Jord” which has some very strong melody lines or the more upbeat “The Slumber of Yesteryears” (reminded me musically of Nightwish in some ways with the way the keys and guitars fit together) and the faster tempo (for Thyrfing)“Till Valfader urgamle.” Then there are songs like “Sweoland Conqueror” that has for the first part of the song a VERY repetitive riff that drones on and on…almost put me into a trance! Sometimes this stuff is hit or miss. One interesting thing, the CD closes with the cover track “Over The Hills and Far Away”, originally by Gary Moore and also recently covered by Nightwish. Thyrfing actually do this one with clean vocals. In terms of intensity, the Nightwish cover is actually sonically heavier. Still, an interesting song to choose for this type of band and it shows a different side to the band with the clean vocals. With more musical variation, I’m sure Thyrfing could really put together an album that will be something special. I look forward to hearing their new album that is being recoded now!
If you plan to visit Valhalla in the afterlife, Thyrfing, will be there to hail you for sure. More information on this band can be found on their official site at http://www.thyrfing.com