Released: 2013, NoiseArt Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
As with many bands, you sort of know what you’re getting with Thyrfing. A majestic, not quite Viking metal, well-thought out, not quite black metal (yet still hard-hitting,) with a somewhere in-between balance of melodious and bleak, droning riffs coupled with rasping vocals and gentle orchestration. If, like me, there are many things you enjoy here, De Ödeslösa (The Fateless) will not disappoint you in the slightest. With a five year gap since the highly praised Hels Vite, we can but hope that the Swedes have not lost their touch. They have not.
Right from the get-go, the album does not lose its grip on your interest or keen sense of awesome metal. With the orchestrated yet not overwrought beginning of Mot Helgrind, you can immediately tell that the boys have not been slacking since 2008, despite line-up changes. The songwriting as ever is executed with utmost professionalism, and coupled with some extremely competent musicianship all befitting of these men of the North.
It’s clear that this far into their musical saga that Thyrfing don’t have to fret about such things anymore, and can concentrate fully on sculpting the overall sound of each song, each instrument adding to rather than trying to overtake the onslaught of their indomitable Scandinavian wall of sound. Vocals both clean and glowering are outstanding, lending themselves to the overall atmosphere of the album but again without overpowering at any point. By the time track number two Fordom came driving in with a big hook, I was trapped.
Throughout their 18 year career, Thyrfing have truly stuck to their trademarks whilst developing themselves as a band, a mark of integrity which is often lost on other bands as they shift between sounds and lose what brought them together in the first place. (For some bands a good thing, - Mastodon, for others not so much, ahem, Metallica…) It’s more as though the sound chose them, rather than they chose what sound they would go for, and this works perfectly for Thyrfing.
For the mix and mastering they could not have chosen a more suitable maestro, Swedish metal guru Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia, Amon Amarth,) who has worked on bands who all have elements of Thyrfing’s sound ingrained within them, whether they know it or not.
A well thought out opus from a band of highly talented musicians, sticking to their trademark sound while developing it at the same time. Well produced, catchy in parts - bleak in others, intrinsically epic yet not overwrought at any point. Well worth a listen to any Viking, black, doom or metal fan!
Review by Kevin Griffiths