Thyrfing

Bornholm – Primaeval Pantheons Review

Bornholm – Primaeval Pantheons Review

“Metalheads saying “I’m a pagan” is, generally speaking, our chosen genre’s equivalent of wine-guzzling middle-aged single women who say they’re “not religious, but spiritual” during those book clubs where Eat, Pray, Love is read in perpetuity. It’s empty posturing made to make someone sound more profound and “enlightened” than they actually are. So-called pagan metal is generally melodic stuff with a lyrical eye to old folklore but, other than that, the definition doesn’t give us a whole lot to go on.” Only join Book of the Dead clubs.

Syn Ze Şase Tri – Stăpîn Peste Stăpîni Review

Syn Ze Şase Tri – Stăpîn Peste Stăpîni Review

Syn Ze Şase Tri is a Romanian band hailing from from—no joke—Transylvania, and whose material I had the pure luck to discover by my naïve dedication to trying to review everything that ever landed in my mailbox back in the early days. The band’s first record, Între două lumi, was the victim of brutal mastering job which rendered the mp3s I received in the promotional material unlistenable. ” Will these Carpathian creepers have the aural bite to win AMG’s love this time around?

Angry Metal Guy’s Top 10(ish) o’ 2013

Angry Metal Guy’s Top 10(ish) o’ 2013

Angry Metal Guy is becoming an interwebs institution. You might not realize this, but this is my fifth Top 10(ish) Records o’ the Year since I started this as a lone Internet Metal Warrior back in 2009, reviewing for my literally dozens of readers, none of whom commented. Can’t believe it? Try these on for size. It’s impressive how far this little blog that could can come, and it’s amazing how much I used to review! Several CDs a week! Incredible. Anyway, the times they are achangin’, but the one thing that isn’t changing is that I have opinions and galldarnit, I’m going to tell you them.

Månegarm – Legions of the North Review

Månegarm – Legions of the North Review

In the late ’90s and early ’00s (aughts, as I call ’em), there was a swath of Scandinavian bands forming something of a scene around the sound of folk influenced black metal. Chief among these were ThyrfingMoonsorrow, and Månegarm. While Moonsorrow changed their sound with time and went on to have widespread respect, the Swedish bands (Månegarm and Thyrfing) both labored in relative obscurity. Why Månegarm never quite pushed their way onto the international stage is mysterious for me, because they’ve always been a band producing unique, interesting, and enjoyable music. In any case, Legions of the North marks the band’s first record since 2009’s Nattväsen which was released on the struggling (and now defunct) Regain Records. While Nattväsen was excellent, my major complaint was simply that it was largely a repetition of 2007’s Vargstenen. After 4 years, signing with Napalm Records, getting a new drummer and losing violinist Janne Liljeqvist, can Månegarm present a fresh face and fill their little niche in folk metal?

Finntroll – Blodsvept Review

Finntroll – Blodsvept Review

I sometimes have wondered whether or not Finntroll is proof that we live in someone’s hypothetical universe. This smarmy imagineer in a banal universe somewhere, may have constructed an elaborate The Producers-like scheme to produce a flop that makes him money. “How about,” he says to himself, “a group of Finns, speaking in a minor dialect of Swedish, dressed up as characters from the LARP version of Changeling: The Dreaming and make folk-influenced heavy metal, complete with a screaming madman instead of a singer! Who on earth would buy that?” Were this hypothetical businessman able to see into our not-so-hypothetical universe he would most certainly be surprised to see that this motley menagerie of Österbottningar that fits his description are releasing their 6th full-length record in just a few days time — and it’s their second on one of metal’s premier labels.

Thyrfing – De ödelösa Review

Thyrfing – De ödelösa Review

Thyrfing might be one of Swedish metal’s ‘best kept secrets,’ an unfortunate moniker for any band. Having been around since the late ’90s and having released 6 full-length records through 2008, these Viking metallers have a history and deep respect in the scene – but not a ton of notoriety. As anyone who’s listened to pop radio should be aware, there is no direct correlation between notoriety and talent; while the former is great for those involved, the latter is better for fans and Thryfing produced 3 very well-respected records between 2000 and 2005 before going astray with 2008’s Hels vite following the departure of vocalist Thomas Väänänen. The band’s sound during that time developed, getting darker and less… well, let’s be frank about those keyboards… fruity.” Now that the band is releasing their second record with new vocalist Jens Rydén, Angry Metal Guy tells you whether or not these Swedish warriors have righted their longship.