Album Review: Thyrfing – Vanagandr (Despotz Records)

After eight years in the wilderness Swedish Viking/Pagan metal kings Thyrfing return with their brand-new album ‘Vanagandr’.

Despite there being no new studio recordings since 2013’s acclaimed ‘De ödeslösa’, Sweden’s Thyrfing have remained active on the tour circuit with appearances at the likes of Wacken Open Air, Summer Breeze and Sweden Rock Festival, amongst many other shows. The lure of creating new music always remained however, and starting back in 2015, plans were made for what would become ‘Vanagandr’, the band’s eighth release.

Expectations might be high but if there is a band that can not only live up to them but blast through them, it is the pagan metal masters Thyrfing.

What do you expect? If you’re familiar with this band, you know the high quality they bring and after eight years, that hasn’t changed. Simply put, Vanagandr is a masterpiece of music that comes with buckets of powerful heaviness and exhausting emotions.

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A tumultuous ride that has Thyrfing proudly showcasing both their roots and their long-term musical development. The stench of ancient times, pagan rituals and Nordic history is strong but importantly, Vanagandr is undoubtably a heavy metal album.

Kicking off with the fiery and furious Döp dem i eld and into Undergångens länkar. Where cold melody dissipates like mist under a bright sun to reveal a barren wasteland dominated by Thyrfing’s epic heavy instrumentation. A track that sounds more and more dangerous as it goes on.

Rötter gets under the skin with its rhythmic guitars, bassy flourishes and short orchestral drop. Followed by the crunching heaviness and pagan touches of Fredlös which sees the album reach the halfway point without having put a foot wrong. Intense and fixated, that’s the way to describe all who have reached this point.

The power of Järnhand is one thing but the layering and subtle shifts in tone are another, making it an instant Thyrfing classic.

Epic tracks without resorting to unnecessary filler is a major theme of this record. Thyrfing continue to showcase that with the battling fist-pumper that is Håg och minne. Before transitioning to something a bit darker, bleaker and colder in the form of Träldomsord.

All good things must end and Thyrfing saved the grandest for last with Jordafärd. A doomier tempo that is dripping in poignant melodies and commanding power. It’s a spectacular closer to an album of the year contender.

Thyrfing – Vanagandr Full Track Listing:

1. Döp dem i eld
2. Undergångens länkar
3. Rötter
4. Fredlös
5. Järnhand
6. Håg och minne
7. Träldomsord
8. Jordafärd


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Thyrfing - Vanagandr (Despotz Records)
  • The Final Score - 9.5/10
User Review
9.1/10 (4 votes)