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Thundra - Angstens Salt (Reissue)

Angstens Salt (Reissue)
by Erika Kuenstler at 17 March 2014, 1:14 AM

What do you get when you combine over one and a half decades of experience with a passion for your cultural heritage? Well, the obvious answer is really awesome Viking Metal, but more specifically, you get THUNDRA. Although originally released in May 2013 through their own record label Black Dimension Records, THUNDRA will be re-releasing their fourth full-length album “Angstens Salt” on 28th March 2014 through the German label Einheit Produktionen, the same collaboration seen in the previous “Ignored by Fear” album. Moreover, with band members being veterans of Viking Metal leviathans like ENSLAVED and EINHERJER, you know THUNDRA will deliver. Having heard and enjoyed their earlier music, I was very much looking forward to giving “Angstens Salt” a listen, especially since I hadn’t heard their music since they brought in their second guitarist. For those less familiar with the band, their sound is often hailed as Black Viking Metal, but there are so many influences that play a role in their music that I would hesitate to categorise them into any one particular genre. Their cultural inheritance naturally plays a large part, but this album also draws heavily on more melodic influences which cover a very broad spectrum, even extending as far as Blues Rock, reminiscent of artists like Carlos Santana. But enough about the band, what about the album?

“Angstens Salt” launches straight into “Discipline Made for Destruction”, with the drums giving the song an almost tropical undertow, combined with a very full guitar sound which not only provides the body of the composition, but also adds flairs through the little flurries incorporated throughout. From slower, drudger parts to majestic sweeps to epic guitar riffs and leads, this release has a very full sound, with each instrument adding layer upon layer to the overall arrangement. The album is complex and well recorded and mastered, resulting in a clean and well-rounded sound which nevertheless manages to maintain an organic feel and avoids being overproduced. The title track “Angstens Salt” is what really caught my attention and won my heart with its dense and darker Viking-laden sound; everything from pace to atmosphere is perfect, and I have a feeling this will become a much beloved anthem of THUNDRA’s over time.

What I like about this album is that there is no recipe or formula that has been followed; THUNDRA play from their souls, and that is evident in their sound. The changes in harmonics are unexpected and unpredictable, with each song having numerous interesting and unanticipated twists. The incredible variation found in the music does occasionally make it seem a bit busy though, and can seem as if they have tried to cram too much into the album.

I had high expectations of the album to begin with, and I can say that THUNDRA have managed to match every single one of my anticipations with ease. Although perhaps not a masterpiece, this is all the same an excellent album, and I highly recommend any fans of Norse/Viking influenced Metal check it out.

4 Star Rating

1. Discipline Made for Destruction
2. Silence Welcomed
3. Tired Soul
4. Angstens Salt
5. Despise the Masquerade
6. Purpose
7. Faded Lights
Steven Grindhaug – Vocals
Rune Fredriksen – Guitars
Stein Roger Sund – Bass
Harald Magne Revheim – Drums
Nils Harald Revheim Johansen – Synth
Ruben Osnes – Guitars
Record Label: Einheit Produktionen


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Edited 30 January 2023

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