Picture of Thyrfing

Valdr Galga

Thyrfing - Valdr Galga ©1999 Hammerheart
1. Prelude: Heading For Golden Hall
2. Storms Of Asgard
3. From Wilderness Came Death
4. Askans Rike
5. Valdr Galga
6. The Deceitful
7. Arising
8. Firever
9. A Moment In Valhalla
10. Mimer's Well
11. A Great Man's Return

It would be accurate and safe to refer to Sweden's Thyrfing as Bal-Sagoth Jr. In fact, it's not a stretch to perceive them as the little black and white kitten that followed around Sylvester the Cat in those old cartoons because they are in fact quite eager and earnest in their approach to keyboard drenched metal. The songs are tales of warriors, legendary deeds and all that sort of hoopla, so it's also fair to suggest that they've spent a reasonable amount of time on Manowar texts.

Those who have an allergy to overtly "gay" keyboards are wise to move along on the store racks. As the opening "Prelude: heading for Golden Hall" aptly demonstrates, the main push musically is the strong keyboards. They aren't quite as prominent as Bal-Sagoth, but the epic conquest movie quality of the keyboards and music do make them contenders for the genre. Vocally, Thomas Väänänen reminds me a bit of Michael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity. I would prefer that he vary his approach more within the music, as the songs suggest a necessity for different tones and styles, rather than just screaming all the way through. Valdr Galga is a decent record, one that grows on me with each listen. I probably will never elevate them to the same status as Bal-Sagoth but for anyone who likes that wacky band of British Ray-Ban warriors, Thyrfing is a worthy listen.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/1999

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