Thyrfing – Valdr Galga

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Reviewed: June 2002
Released: 1999, Hammerheart Records
Rating: 4.2/5
Reviewer: Night of the Realm

Hidden Gem Review

Thyrfing has always been a band that isn’t often discussed, and as a result, I have largely remained ignorant of their works. After hearing some mp3s, which I found rather impressive, I decided to give the band a shot and ordered Valdr Galga. I was not, however, prepared for the full-on assault from these Swedish purveyors of Viking Metal.

The album opens up with an intro track of battle sounds over which is played a distorted thrashy riff. As the battle effects end, the symphonic keys are added to the mix, creating an epic atmosphere that certainly grabbed my attention. Growling vocals are chanted over the intro as it winds down.

Are you ready for a war?

With this question (and a resounding Yeah! from me), the album slurs directly into the first track, “Storms Of Asgard.” This track continues combination of the intro riff with the symphonic keys added for atmosphere, and is fast-paced for the most part. Many style changes are present in the first track, from straight thrash riffing, to a sweeping keyboard part, and a middle interlude with piano-synth and speaking/growling lines.

A brief acoustic intro brings in “From The Wilderness Came Death” next. This one is slower in pace than the previous track, focusing on a riff that sounds quite folky. The chorus on this track is quite odd, however, especially when one reads the lyrics. The happy-sounding chorus, combined with the keys in that part just do not fit lyrics detailing a village being torn apart by the wolf-hordes of Fenris.

“Askens Rike” is now up, a mid-paced track with lyrics sung in Swedish. The riffing is typical mid-paced style, but the chorus features a keyboard bit that is almost hypnotic. The final minute of the song speeds up, in a style similar to that in “Storms Of Asgard.”

As one expects, Thyrfing’s song topics are influenced by Viking mythology and warrior ideals. For the rest of the album, one can expect much of what has been detailed here, epic and melodic tracks detailing the exploits of the Vikings. The songs range from mid-paced epics to fast-burning tracks of frenetic riffing and hyperkinetic drumwork. Thyrfing uses the synths in a manner that varies from a backdrop, to fully developing the atmosphere of the album. Some of the interludes even remind me of bits from bands such as Children Of Bodom or Nightwish. Overall, the sound can be compared to fellow Viking Metallers, Mithotyn, only using more synths. The tracks that stand out on this album are the fast and epic “Storms Of Asgard,” “A Moment In Valhalla,” a great track suited for the mead-hall, and “Mimer’s Well.” With some great songs, Valdr Galga also possesses a good variety among the tracks while remaining true to the main Viking style.

This album is a worthy addition for any fan of Viking metal, so grab your sword and head out to battle.

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