Label: Trollzorn Records
Release date: 13 November 2020
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording
As an Icelander, it often hits close to home when metal is infused with Vikings, runes and of course, recognizable words. Although from Germany, Thrudvangar did stand out to me personally with their upcoming album “Vegvisir”. For those who do not know, Vegvisir is a magical stave intended to help the bearer find his or her way home. Translated directly as a way pointer, it is often called the Runic Compass and is quite the popular tattoo.
But enough about that. As mentioned already, the German group Thrudvangar was on the menu who have been active since 2000 and have quite the nice collection of work behind them. “Vegvisir” is their sixth full length album and let me be one of the most likely many people to tell you that it is in the simplest way to put it: a masterpiece.
It was a nice welcome to, sine I feel like I have been reviewing a lot of black metal lately, and while I do like that genre, it is far from being my favorite. But this 11 track long album is filled with piano, choirs, tension and pure melodic metal fashion. “Wächter der Brucke” includes an extremely crowd friendly choirs, riffs and heavy drums. The darker type of growling vocals git the music and lyrical theme to the teeth. While the lyrics are in German, you are still not reminded of German colleagues such as Rammstein or Equilibrium since this group sounds so much more influenced by the Scandinavian style of flowing melodies and braided orchestras. However you almost can´t look away from the Amon Amarth reference in “Jörmungandr”, even if you really really try.
“Hravnagud” changes things up slightly in an almost rock and roll way but before long the melodic metal is back around. The production is extremely good making all the work sounding like a fitting unit. The majestic chorus is easy to sing along to and even more than that, every track so far has stood out in its own way. “Fenrirs Brut” stands out including faster and more aggressive riff than the previous ones, while the fast double bass and the chorus really give it that Twilight of the Thunder God vibe, but with more melodic main riffing. The mix of heavy ass riffing and ultra-melodic parts in “Sturm aus Eisen” is extremely well composed, while as well used in a nice way so it doesn’t become overwhelming. Not to use something when it isn’t needed is a rare talent to have and it really seems like this band has mastered it.
Last track of the album, “Alles was bleibt”, was definitely the biggest surprise of the entire album. A slowing down heartbeat along with a sad and grand unison guitar melody. I won´t say more. But let me just say that if my socks hadn´t already been knocked off earlier by this album, this track certainly would have.
Ever since Eternal Storm released “Come the Tides” last year, I have been waiting for another diamond in the rough to stumble upon, and now I have dug up that diamond. This album wont just swipe you off your feet, it will swipe your feet right off, with each and every one of the 11 tracks having the potential to be a first single. Not a single filler and I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Sure, they do sound like Amon Amarth, but they add things that make them stick out pretty far from that mold, and when it sounds almost just like Amon Amarth, they just do it better
Everything is on spot here. Album of the year. 10/10 Julia Katrin
10/10 : Immortal Classic
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