by Scott Hefflon
Listening to a band like Thyrfing, you realize why it’s called Viking metal. You can hear big, burly men beating the snot out of each other, drinking and wenching in a sticky-floored tavern, and mourning the loss of fallen brothers. There’s the feel of paddling quietly up beaches at dawn, the smell of blood-soaked Earth and clods of your homeland kicked up as men circle one another, searching for weakness, and all the hymns of victory and loss sung after the day’s battle has ended.
And the bonus, the traditional “Over the Hills and Far Away” as done by Gary Moore, sheds Braveheart-esque light on that song, one that’s stuck with me since Wild Frontiers, a great album scarred by the ’80s flirtation with drum machines. Broad-chested men with leather-armbanded arms crossed across their chest survey the land of their fathers and their father’s fathers and the wind blows their scraggly hair, whispering tales of family and battle, love and death, the balance of nature, harsh yet lovely and eternal.
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