Hels Vite

Viking metal should make you want to load up a Norse ship with muscle-bound heathens and sail to a foreign land to usurp and plunder. Sweden’s Thryfing is one of the exceptions. Whereas their country mates Amon Amarth aim a broadsword at the throat, Thryfing offer cerebral Viking metal.

The seven tracks on the new album Hels Vite are allowed proper space to develop and reveal deeper, more intricate passages. There’s an emotional component on many of the songs lacking in most black and Viking metal, which favors a cold and shrill approach (unsurprising considering the systemic hatred of Christianity and disdain for all things modern in the genre). Hels Vite is more like a welcoming fire after a long and bloody conquest. The eponymous track and opener “En Sista Litania” channel Bathory’s more expansive and mythological works, in particular Twilight of the Gods. Quorthon’s footsteps still loom large. The music is also never slow or static despite a more deliberate and thoughtful pace.

Thryfing has a different cast then their last album Farsotstider (2005), and one less guitarist. The changes haven’t hurt their music. The most notable addition is new vocalist Jens Rydén (ex-Naglfar). Ryden’s vocals work exceptionally well here, and he often lets loose with a medieval scream that could upend the nearest glass of mead. All but two of the songs are written in Swedish, so brush up on your foreign language skills if you wish to explore further.

There’s plenty of Viking metal available these days, some of it recorded in lands where original heathens never set foot. Thryfing gets this type of music right, and adds their own thoughtful imprint to a genre that could easily become comical. More than a decade into their career their work is still authentic and moving.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Justin M Norton
June 11th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Grimulfr

    Looking forward to this one, and there are no lands where original heathen/ pagan peoples never trod

    my mead horn is filled

  2. Commented by: axiom

    I forgot about this, really liked it on first listen. Darker and heavier.

  3. Commented by: ceno

    Great review for a great album, man. ‘Hels Vite is more like a welcoming fire after a long and bloody conquest’. This sentence made me re-visit the album.

  4. Commented by: arctical

    it becomes my favoritte album of thyrfing
    harder,deeper and emotional just like ı asked

    cant wait for new album

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