Thyrfing have always been anxious not to repeat themselves in musical and lyrical terms. Ever since the release of their self-titled debut album in 1998 they have tried to do something new. So the first releases were set in a viking/pagan setting while the music as well as the lyrics have become darker and darker since “Vansinnesvisor”.
After five years – the longest interval ever between two Thyrfing albums – the guys from Sweden are finally back with eight brand new songs. In the mean time, long-time bassist Kimmy Sjölund had left the band and was replaced by drummer Jocke (now that’s something you don’t see everyday) who gave his drum sticks to new member Dennis Ekdahl. Having all of this in mind, I was really curious about how the new material was going to sound.
Like “Farsotstider”, “De Ödeslösa” is completely in Swedish again. The album starts off with a really epic piece called “Mot Helgrind”. Just like the band revealed beforehand, this new material is much more orchestral and melodic than most of the stuff on the last two albums, so we have thick keyboard layers, battle horns and acoustic guitars all over the place, all of which are combined with the typical dark Thyrfing atmosphere and Jens Rydén’s distinctive vocals. Great mid-tempo song! Track number two, Fordom, is a bit more riff-based, but again comes up with a lot of keyboards. The first real surprise is “Kamp”, which starts with acoustic guitars, bass (maybe an influence of the new bassist Joakim Kristensson) as well as clean vocals by Toni Kocmut, who has lent his clean voice to the band ever since “Valdr Galga”. Later, the song evolves into a very melodic and fast one that combines typical elements with new and fresh ones. This is my personal highlight of the record, beside the title track that combines the essence of this album. Simply great!
To be honest, there are not too many surprises on “De Ödeslösa”. This one sounds like the Thyrfing we know from beginning to end. Mostly dark and atmospheric mid-tempo songs that sound like a blend of the last three albums with a focus on keys and orchestration. So, Thyrfing fans really won’t be disappointed with this album. Personally, I was hoping for a bit more of development and experiments in the sound and songwriting, especially after such a long time of waiting. In the end, I have the impression that the band wanted to play it safe this time, and rather combine what they do best instead of venturing into unexplored territory. If so, they have succeeded. “De Ödeslösa” is a very strong album that features all of the key elements of Thyrfing: heavy riffs, scarce but effective use of blast-beats, keyboards that complement the sound without sounding clichéd, aggressive and clean vocals and a heck of a lot of atmosphere. 8/10
1. Mot Helgrind 06:10
2. Fordom 05:49
3. Veners förfall 05:05
4. Illvilja 05:35
5. Kamp 04:51
6. Relik 05:55
7. Vindöga 06:16
8. De Ödeslösa 06:46
playng time 46:27
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