Panphage - Thul - Ginnheilagr
Nordvis Produktion
Ambient / Black Metal
7 songs (42'35")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Alex

The first album by one-man Swedish crew Panphage Storm was a very well received exercise in folk tinged rawer side black metal. On Storm Fjallbrandt also came up with a pair of standout interludes. In teaming up with mysterious Thul on a recent split Ginnheilagr Fjallbrandt has deferred on atmosphere to Thul and focused only on the metal aspect of his art.

Thul summons spirits, wolves and shamans to the beat of timpani on Canis, until the first ray of light comes through, followed by the brighter synth sound. Relieved (or is it inspired) by the atmosphere Panphage plunges right into bright piercing riffs after an ominous spoken declaration (said to belong to Christer Pettersson, the man accused of killing Swedish prime minister Olaf Palme). Konungr/Lopt rushes into open spaces, seeking freedom, pushing forever higher until it stands on top of the mountain. There cold winds whip and lash you in the face, but frenzied from a rush of the climb the protagonist can stand alone listening to beautiful melodies of ancient folk. The fans of equal part Ulver, Dissection and Burzum can take notice.

Making sure the tracks connect between the two bands is something Ginnheilagr is very keen on. Panphage and Thul borrow the partner’s end to start their own compositions. Lynx is a cold boreal forest at the edge of a fjord, with ravens circling overhead and mysterious human (?) sounds leading a procession, until same voices suddenly come into the clearing and inner peace is reached. After Släkten solen ser i åkrar sjunka ned blends in the violin sound of Lynx for 20 seconds, Fjallbrandt uncorks some of the most epic and heroic riffing, with vocals now layered, so it may be after all that Fjallbrandt is not alone on top of that mountain, his inner peace short-lived, before he plummets on to further triumph.

Ursus takes place in the lair of the beast, where both spring and hope are allowed. Ginnheilug goð is harsher and rawer, reminiscent of Storm, and finally Thul closes with the split’s title track, under the darkness of night and shimmering stars the cauldron is boiling, until everything gets frozen with the sound of a harp.

On its own Thul would not be something I would come back to for re-listening. Similar to Celestiial or Blood of the Black Owl, once you get the gist, you only need to experience it once. But Panphage tracks are outstanding, and in the flow of the split alternating Panphage and Thul was a genius moment, which married two entities together harmoniously.

Killing Songs :
Konungr/Lopt, Släkten solen ser i åkrar sjunka ned
Alex quoted 85 / 100 (P) & 60 / 100 (T)
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:01 am
View and Post comments