Jump to content
Sign in to stalk this  


Recommended Posts

I think the title of this forum: 'Folk Metal' has been putting me off posting here, but some of my all time favourite bands and albums are in the viking/pagan/folk metal genres. It's time to talk about one of the greatest bands in the world, Sweden's Thyrfing. 

Requiem's Ranking of Thyrfing's Albums from Christian Missionary (Worst) to Drunk in Valhalla (Best)

7. Hels Vite (2008)

My facetious ranking title is a bit misleading, as there is no bad Thyrfing album. But my least favourite would be this, the first album with new singer Jens Ryden. There is definitely a lot going on here that is enjoyable, but it's part of the band's move away from the viking tropes of their earlier albums into a more straightforward, less historic(?) atmosphere, almost as if they're trying to grow up or at least become a bit tougher. Jens' voice is cool and everything, but the magic of the old material isn't really here and I find myself sometimes zoning out while listening to it. Jens' voice is just a bit too generic. Pretty average album cover with a white theme and - what? - zombies coming out of the ground? Hmmm...

6. De Odeslosa (2013)

The second Jens Ryden album came out five years after 'Hels Vite', and it's much better. The riffs are really good here and the keyboards have a little more presence, although the old days are well and truly over. They're a keyboard band when they're at their best, and it's a crime to bury Peter Lof's great work under the guitars. Further line-up changes may have had a destabilising effect - but overall this is a very nice album. Again, not very 'viking' in flavour, but everyone was moving away from the swords-and-shields imagery of yesteryear, much to my disappointment. All of this 'grown up' music from serious musicians... I want more battles and sound effects! Anyway... Very nice cover of a green and white smokey thing. Not sure what it is but it looks nice. 

5. Valdr Galga (1999)

Speaking of battles and sound effects. Now we're talking. The second album is pure viking metal. Big keyboard sounds merge with the riffage and the most underrated vocalist in metal, Thomas Vaananen, embodies the voice of the northland. Some of this album feels a little unexciting at times, and their sound would develop further, but it's a fun album for sure. Killer album cover in the form of a slightly awkward drawing of a viking seated at table with his men. 

4. Thyrfing (1998)

The debut album is brilliant, if a little quaint and underdeveloped, especially in terms of production. The blueprint is laid down here, with Peter Lof's keyboards up front, and the focus in on viking themes quite explicitly, which would be gradually chipped away on later albums as they became darker. The last track 'Going Berserk' is fantastic, and the whole album is good old fashioned unpolished viking enthusiasm. The album cover is a pretty hilarious drawing, but a cult piece depicting longships, lightning and a viking holding a sword aloft. 

3. Farsotstider (2005)

Thomas Vaananen's last album with the band was a huge shift from their sound. Gone were the melodious keyboards and piping viking jiggery, and present was a slow, heavy, riffing darkness. The opening track 'Far at Helvete' (Go to Hell) is freaking amazing, with some of Vaananen's greatest vocals. Listen to his voice here - the desperation and honesty is just amazing. All the main viking bands were moving away from traditional viking metal themes at this point, and Thyrfing followed suit, which really disappointed me at first, but once the album sunk in I was, and remain, hooked. Simple yet effective album cover that matches the darkness of the music. 

2. Urkraft (2000)

Viking metal's heyday around this time. The first track, 'Mjolner', is possibly the greatest viking metal song ever written. When I first heard it just after this album came out I couldn't believe it - if you haven't heard it, check it out. This is one of the all time classic albums of the genre and the name of the game was melody, atmosphere and the viking imagery that a lot of bands have sort of turned their back on these days. The band also introduce some clean vocals from time to time as well, which work so beautifully. 'Mjolner', what a track. Album cover is a nice shot of the ocean and a cloudy sky with a cool hand-drawn border around it. 

1. Vansinnesvisor (2002)

LIke most of my lists, the number one album of any given band is essentially a representative of my favourite all time albums. This album is amazing. It's got a bit more grit and energy compared to 'Urkraft', and there's some darkness going on here too without losing the melodic thrust of the band. They've really tapped into something special. The one-two of openers 'Draugs Harg' and 'Digerdoden' (the latter with the greatest viking metal chorus ever, apart from Tyr) are unstoppable pagan onslaughts that move me deeply, while songs like 'The Voyager' just speak to the essence of viking culture through metal music. I've said it before and I'm saying it now, Thomas Vaananen is an absolutely miracle and should be worshipped by everyone. A word on the album artwork and booklet - it's well worth purchasing the CD version of this album as the artwork and band member shots in the booklet are probably as good as anything I've seen before, showing the guys out in the forest in middle ages clothing. Check out Peter Lof next to that mushroom. I'm just amazed. 10/10 album. All time classic. 

Any fans of the mighty Thyrfing out there? One of metal's great underrated bands. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to stalk this  

  • Join Metal Forum


  • Your Ad Here
    Support the forum, get a special badge and promote yourself to thousands of Metal fans. Click the above link to get started!
  • Our picks

    • At the start of pulling this list together I had thought it to have been a "light" year for BM releases.  It was only when I got into compiling my "Best of 2018" that I realised it had in fact been quite a good year.  2018 in BM saw the return of some well established acts, some of them doing what they have always done well whereas others took to the recording studios minus long standing members.  When all is said and done, I think it all turned out rather well.

      Click the link to read more.

      • Reputation Points

      • 9 replies
    • It was 2014 when Corpsessed released their debut full length and mighty fucking good it was too.  Some 4+ years later and it is time for the sophomore release to land in my music stream and seek my attention.  When I say seek I actually mean possess my attention.  Although the album is by no means perfect, this record grabs hold of you by your very soul, dragging it off on a journey littered with horror, darkness and crushing heaviness to boot.  One of its main successes is the atmosphere that is obvious from the opening of "Impetus of  the Dead" and plays an integral part over the remainder of the release.

      It is a very well structured album too, with strong song writing that layers tracks up to behemoth size and proportions.  Yet at the same time there's a real sense of balance too, for every cavernous and mammoth like structure there's shorter and more intense bursts that whilst moving the pace slightly away from the heaviness, don't distract too much from it.  "Paroxsymal" and "Sortilege" are great examples of this, two well placed tracks that add a variety to the pace and increase the memorability of the whole experience.

      The album only has two weak points for me.  The penultimate track on the record seems just a random and not altogether necessary inclusion, especially given the quality of "Forlorn Burial" before it and the vast ending of "Starless Event Horizon" after it.  Secondly, the production does seem to give off a muddled sound on some tracks although the horror of the atmosphere and those lead guitars certainly do rescue the day on more than one occasion.  In a year that has struggled overall to bring many standout DM records, "Impetus of Death" will be a welcome addition to any fan's Top 10 DM Albums of 2018 no doubt.  It is one of the stronger records of 2018 and also a fine step up from their debut offering also which makes me excited for album number 3.


      • Reputation Points

      • 0 replies
    • Behemoth "I Loved You At Your Darkest"
      The first song I heard ahead the full 2014 release ("The Satanist") from Behemoth was "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel".  It immediately peaked my interest, setting the tone nicely for what was to become one of my favoured full lengths of that year.  This time around I heard "God = Dog" (which I think means the band are more cat people?).  It sounded blunted and frankly restrained.  Yes, there was a brief passage of some interesting string work towards the end but generally it just passed me by.  Sadly, just as my experience of the lead song/single from 2014 was an excellent benchmark for my expectation of the full length, the same has happened in 2018 but with a very different outcome.

      "I Loved You At Your Darkest" rarely achieves touching distance of the band's previous full length.  There's lots of things that stop it from doing this, indeed the list is as long as either one of my lanky and lengthy arms.  The songwriting is poor, it lacks any real structure the majority of the time.  As a result there is a constant sense of this just being a very hastily written, rush of ideas.  Tracks like "If Crucifixion Was Not Enough" and "Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica" show this in abundance, the former nailing the lid down on its own coffin with one of the laziest attempts at a menacing riff I have heard in a while.

      When we do actually settle into some sense of structure it actually works well.  "Bartzabel" is a sole triumph in the songwriting/structure stakes here and this is almost ruined by the annoying double layered, chanting backing vocals.

      Next on my list of grumbles?  The sound.  It is one of the most sterile and strained sounding mixes I think I have ever heard on a record.  The drums sound like they were tracked for a completely different purpose on some of the tracks, "Wolves ov Siberia" and "Rom 5:8" in particular.  I can't believe that this was the intended sound the band wanted to achieve.  I follow Behemoth on Instagram and they make much majesty and menace over their theatre and general pomp when performing live it seems.  Surely then they haven't listened to the final playback of this record?

      Now then.  I don't recall chanting children on a record ever working well?  But there's a couple of tracks here of children chanting their disdain for Christianity alongside Nergal and co.  It sounds frankly fucking ridiculous and trite even over only two tracks!

      In summary, this is a massive disappointment whether you enjoyed "The Satanist" or not.  Hastily put together, poorly arranged and mixed terribly to boot.

      • Reputation Points

      • 2 replies
    • On July 27, 2018, Redemption released their seventh full-length album, Long Night’s Journey Into Day. The release was mastered by Jacob Hansen, who has also worked with Amaranthe, Doro, Primal Fear and Volbeat. It is the first album to feature Evergrey vocalist Tom Englund on vocals, replacing longtime frontman Ray Alder, also of progressive metal institution Fates Warning. Englund’s highly emotional, husky vocal style could lend a rougher edge to Redemption’s simultaneously melodramatic and contemplative approach. It is also worth pointing out that in the band’s new promo shoot (https://www.redemptionweb.com/) he looks quite a lot like the 30-year-old Boomer (https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/30-year-old-boomer).

      It’s a good choice, however, considering that Evergrey and Redemption are strongly reliant on their vocalists to define their sound. The Art of Loss was the band’s most eclectic effort, but Alder’s singing provided the basic foundation that defined it as a Redemption album. Englund could be better off in Redemption, given that Evergrey have been meandering for the last couple releases while the former band have been musically top-notch for most of their oeuvre. Chris Poland, formerly of Megadeth, returns for this album, having appeared on The Art of Loss for a very noticeable shred outing on the title track. He will be joined by Italian guitar veteran Simone Mularoni, of Empyrios and the estimable prog-power heavyweights DGM. Also, after an extensive coma after a 2014 aneurysm (https://www.facebook.com/Bernie-Versailles-379611832240834/), the band’s longtime lead guitarist Bernie Versailles returns to the lineup.

      Long Night’s Journey into Day tracklist
      1. Eyes You Dare Not Meet in Dreams
      2. Someone Else’s Problem
      3. The Echo Chamber
      4. Impermanent
      5. Indulge in Color
      6. Little Men
      7. And Yet
      8. The Last of Me
      9. New Year’s Day
      10. Long Night’s Journey into Day
      • Reputation Points

      • 0 replies
    • Glen Benton is 51.  Fuck I feel old now too.  Deicide are 30 years old (32 if we count the Amon era).  Album number 12 from the fathers of Florida death metal is a strong effort considering yet another change of personnel has occurred.  It is bye-bye Jack Owen, hello Mark English of Monstosity fame taking up guitar duties and ironically I like "Overtures of Blasphemy " a lot more than Monstrosity's effort this year.

      Whilst it can never make the "beast of a DM record" title I would give to the debut or"Legion" for example, "Overtures..." is entertaining.  Whether it is the melo-death passages that litter the streets and alleyways of this record or the more familiar sacrilegious blasting fury of Deicide at their (old) best, there's plenty to balance the experince over these 12 tracks.  Take "Seal The Tomb" for example, it goes immediately for the jugular, relentlessly chugging riffs alongside Benton's usual demented growls only to be tempered by menacing and interesting leads and sonics that carry the song along well.  Listen once to this track and it is in your head for literally days after.

      Then there's the vehemence of the lyrics of "Compliments of Christ" were you can feel the spittle from Glen's lips splattering your ears as he spews forth the vitriol he is best known for.  "Anointed in Blood" opens like a lead jam session recorded mid flow before developing into a hellish gallop of fiery hooves, again perfectly completed by some well placed and well timed leads.

      This is were Morbid Angel went wrong with "Kingdoms..." safe DM with little if any attention paid to the sonic wizardry of their sound.  Take a leaf out of Glen's book Trey!

      It is clear that this is no nonsense DM that is not out to reinvent any wheels it still has enough equal measure of extremity and assured and unapologetic attitude to hold it's own against most of the DM records released this year.  It is not perfect by any means.  I lose it on more than one occasion if I am honest ("Crucified Soul of Salvation" in particular hits my 'standby' button really nicely) and it is a couple of tracks too long making for an almost excessive feel to the running time.  Whilst it is a well paced record there's definitely some "filler" present.  But very any turkeys in here there is still thankfully the brilliance of tracks like "Consumed by Hatred" to snap you back to attention.  "Flesh, Power, Dominion" is one of the strongest things Deicide have ever put to tape btw.

      • Reputation Points

      • 0 replies