Here we are, barely finished ridding ourselves of the New Years festive party cobwebs, and I’m listening to my first strong contender for album of the year.
I think it is fair to say that Thyrien have not had the smoothest of starts to their collective career, line up comings and goings, time constraints, etc etc have meant that although the history of the band can be traced back to 2005, this is in fact their debut full length release ( an E.P. did surface a while back).
To kick things off, the band come tagged under the Folk Metal genre, a label that can be a bit misleading in some respects. A solid base and core of Folk influence does shine through but the sound, to my ears, is way above that single moniker alone. Elements of Death and even Black Metal, intertwined with some seriously sumptuous and sublime guitar licks, make this an untamed beast of a record.
Starting with the haunting and atmospheric ( if not overly original) intro track “Far Beyond Midgard”, we race headlong into an almighty riff fest of a composition in the form of “Vengeance Through My Soul”, a song that demands to be in the bands live set list, if not in it already, followed by the folkier tinged “Deathwish” and “Eternal Journey”, things don’t really drop a gear at any time throughout the whole album after that either.
What the band seem to be able to do with consummate ease is combine all of the a fore mentioned elements and genres, and produce something that is fresh, dynamic, and perhaps most importantly of all, bloody great to listen to.
If I had to pick out a personal fave track on the album, which is damn hard to do by the way, I’d probably go with “My Victory My Defeat”, as it just puts on a silver platter all that is good and wholesome about this record, Death growls, Maidenesque melodic hooks, folky tinkering and a solo to die for. Having said all that, “Forest Is My Throne” could be my choice as well, heavier and darker but equally as well crafted. Or even “When The Horizon Burns”, a fist pumping anthemic sledgehammer of a song that defies you to sit still, choosing one and one alone is almost impossible.
To sum it all up, this is an album that you seriously need to beg, steal or borrow but preferably purchase through all the usual music outlet channels, an album that combines the mood and darkness of bands like Dark Tranquillity, together with the epic folk vibe of Enisferum and others but manages to stand out as one of the best albums you will hear all year.
1. Far Beyond Midgard
2. Vengeance Through My Soul
4. Eternal Journey
5. The Frozen North
6. My Victory My Defeat
7. Forest Is My Throne
8. Natures Rage
9. When The Horizon Burns
Oskari Koivisto – Guitar and Vocals
Jere Sjögren – Bass and Backing Vocals
Valtteri Martikainen – Lead Guitar
Sakari Martikainen – Drums
‘Hymns Of The Mortals – Songs From The North’ is released through Massacre Records on January the 24th