Genre: Viking (Black) Metal
Release: 13.11.2020 (LP) & 20.11.2020 (CD) via TROLLZORN
I was kindly provided with the Album by Trollzorn and Sure Shot Worx. Thank you for that!
Preorder the album here.
Hier geht es zur deutschen Version dieses Artikels.
There aren’t a lot of things I’m truly embarrassed about, but the fact that this blog is called „Shieldmaiden’s Voice“ and that I haven’t talked about a Viking Metal Band so far, has to be one of those rare instances!
Luckily, that is about to change! And who would be a better subject of my attention than a band originating from my home?
I’m talking about THRUDVANGAR who will release their sixth album soon and thereby deliver their fans from the seven year waiting period. And let me tell you now: They are stronger and harder than ever before!
The beginning, which consists of the Intro Vegvisir which seamlessly fades into the first full-length song Wächter der Brücke, already mirrors the flaming energy of this album. The harsh sounding vocals, carried by melodious guitars, is brutally slammed against the listener’s ears and kind of sounds like a German version of MÅNEGARM or ENSLAVED.
The third song Jörmungandr emerged as one of my favorites. The tale of the Midgard-Snake, who springs from Loki’s and Angrboda’s relationship, is a great example of the high potential of this album. THRUDVANGAR are able to show that even harder and heavier metal styles with slight Balck-Metal traces are able to compose catchy songs. The composition of the song reminds me a bit of AMON AMARTH’s Jomsviking.
The catchy riffs give the song a very infernal feeling which I find quite fitting since the Midgard-Snake is the one initiating the dooms day „Ragnarök“.
Eventually you’ll arrive at the song Siegvaters Maid, which was released as a first single from the album. Overall it’s one of the strongest songs on the album and this hymn is inviting the listener to another dive into the Viking mythology. The accompanying video perfectly accentuate the dark and brutal vibes this song gives me.
In comparison to the last album, we see a vast improvement in terms of quality. Not only are the songs more cohesive, but also the quality of production has been improved immensely. This is probably thanks to producer LARS RETTKOWITZ (EMPERIAL SOUND). PSA for bands out there: You don’t have to release a new album every year, but if you decide to wait longer, then do your homework as perfectly demonstrated in the example THRUDVANGAR gives us here.
But back to the album: Siegvaters Maid is followed by the fighting hymn Sturm aus Eisen. Powerful guitars accompany battle cries, which could come directly from the Viking age. Whoever doesn’t feel like spending weeks in a boat and subsequently robbing a British Monastery, didn’t listen properly. (Small Lindisfarne Abby joke for you here).
Towards the end of the album it becomes a little bit monotonous. THRUDVANGAR stay true to their aesthetic the whole time and I caught myself thinking that there probably wasn’t anything more surprising to come.
Luckily I was wrong because as a last song THRUDVANGAR chose a ballad called Alles, was bleibt. And what stays is a melancholic melody that is carefully accentuated by clear vocals. With various sound effects they manage to create an epic overlay, that, at times, feels a bit to forced for me, but is still fitting somehow. By that the four Vikings-Metal-Musicians end an album in a powerfully emotional way that will certainly manifest their place further in the scene.
Overall, we have an album that is a wonderful work of German Metal that is not searching to please the masses, but to be as hard and unforgiving as ever. Fans of the genre will certainly enjoy it a lot and probably find a couple new favorite songs. Even though it is a bit monotonous, it still presents such a vast improvement in comparison to their last album and because of that I am willing to forgive a bit of monotony. Once again a recommendation to buy it!
Torsten Schildhauer – Drums
Matthias Träbert – Vocals
Sebastian Rasch – Guitars
Daniel Stromayer – Guitars