Thrudvangar - Durch Blut Und Eis

Thrudvangar hail from Germany and have been brandishing the Viking metal flag for almost ten years now. Four albums later and fans are finally greeted with "Durch Blut Und Eis", which translates as "Through Blood And Ice." All the songs are done in German, so expect a lot of translating if you want to understand the lyrics, but its important you do because each track tells the story. Following the Viking metal style of bands like Ensiferum, Bathory, Tyr and Turisas, expect a lot of fast riffs, a lot of melodic keyboards to keep the mood epic, and grunted vocals that tell stories of war and glory.

There is a certain mythology to the work of Thrudvangar in the way they approach concepts like Thovald, Leif, and Thohild. A lot of the music is performed in a melodic death/black metal style similar to Amon Amarth with a lot of power chords, the keyboards chiming in every once in a while, and mid paced drumming behind snarled vocals. However, there's plenty of atmospheric "viking metal" things on the album too. The introduction has the tone of a horde of viking warriors setting off to sail in war, exploration, rape, pillaging, etc. "Tholhild's Gunst" has an epic, ambient keyboard sound that sounds more like an organ and makes the song sound like a great eulogy or war march instead of just speedy, melodic death metal to set the pace of a battle. "Luege..." has some great bell and horn sections with the keyboards and the guitars are very slow, almost doom metal paced to enhance the quality of the music. And of course, there's the acoustically driven final track that serves as a mighty showdown with spoken words, vengeful guitar riffs, and fearful drums that strike fear into the hearts of any who would go against listening to this band.

There's a certain brutality to "Durch Blut Und Eis" but there's also a great amount of beauty in the way the band sets up the atmospheric elements. Epic is the key. While there aren't any big viking chant sections of rambunctious dancy-drinking song fueled tracks that some bands like the folk band, Korpilkaani, enjoy so much, Thrudvangar embrace more of the death and war side of viking metal's Valhalla tales. Is it original? Not exactly. Is it crap? Of course not. Anyone who enjoys viking metal will find this appealing as it delivers a strong, suitable sound to the germanic culture and their long ago heritage. As for a fitting mantle for the metal side of things, the album lives up to that, also.

  1. Intro
  2. Thorvald's Tod
  3. Tholdhild's Gunst
  4. Habichtstal
  5. Leif- Der Gewalten Gabe
  6. Holmgang
  7. Luege, Verrat Und Meineid
  8. Ochseninsel
  9. Der Schwerter Klingen
  10. Thornesthing
  11. Uebefahrt
  12. Am Ende Eines Fjords
  13. Sein Letzter Ritt

Einheit Produktionen
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Apr 15, 2010

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