Thurthul is a one-man black metal project (All instruments and Vocals by Grief) that comes off a lot better than 90 % of the other ones that exist today. Out of the 33,000,033 one-man black metal projects from say 2015 until now, this one stands out at the top of a heap.

Heritage & Blood – Pretty relentless black sound here and good production. I’m heavily into real Black Metal. In high school, the bands revered today as the forefathers (of what passes as BM nowadays) were new bands, so what I am saying is I’m old. I like what I fucking like. Let me start by saying I am able to recommend this album on this first song alone. Everything I say about the album after this will just be a stream of thoughts while listening… There are good tinges of Swedish Death Metal in parts. Good slowdown around the 3 minute mark here. Vocals are standard BM. Good rock n roll drums in parts that are more Kiss than Bathory. Peter Criss takes over during the slow part near the end. I like that because Black Metal is full of standard garbage – especially in the drumming department. Usually Black Metal has two styles of drum: Celtic Frost and Darkthrone “Transilvanian Hunger” beat. While this song is nearly standard, it isn’t standard at the same time… and comes off as if the guy actually cares about songwriting.

Fatherland Calls – Slow, Darkthrone-imitating-Hellhammer riff and drum turns into good blasting metal at 1:30 something. After this we’re treated to a pretty cool collection of riffs until the end of the song. Drumming is still unorthodox for the most part. I’ve heard so much black metal that I’m accustomed to nothing but a blastbeat happening and a guy barely playing guitar. I like that this guy CAN play guitar and the songs are not just lame political or religious manifestos with instruments…

These, so far, are good songs. See I’m a guy who likes music. I think politics, the focus on imagery in black metal, and organized religion are fucking worthless human animal world nonsense. I can not take anyone seriously when they just use the socially accepted living-in-a-box-created-by-centuries-of media political leanings OF pop culture religious ideas as their whole reason for existing. I mean you’re left or you’re right and you’re a sun worshiper or a moon worshiper. I don’t give a fuck. Come up with something else; worship earthworms or something.

After saying this I do look at the song titles and the album title, and being from German blood I sense there may be some political leaning here, perhaps just some kind of pagan leaning which I also personally find too human to be absolutely truest Black Metal of all time… but I don’t FUCKING HEAR the leanings here (as much as I do when some Mexican NS guy’s shitty recorded on a boombox trash is thrown in my ear, or when some dipshit plays flutes, you know what I mean)

Victory or Death – Not being one to bullshit: There is a lot of new black metal that sounds more like this (mixes of styles – a thing that Tjolgtjar and Sigh did best in the 90s and early 00s – Yes I just referred to my own band) but this is a band I’m liking better than most the shit that gets passed my way, especially when we get a Canadian Black Metal (this is Godless North territory) and a French Black Metal (this is Celestia territory) riff after the “folky” part. Actually no this is just Dark Funeral really, with a flavor of Sacramentum so yeah I was wrong. It’s actually French-Canadian mixed with Bathory at the breakdown point.

Cool drums at the end of the song with a majestic kinda riff. Vocals aren’t doing anything interesting and I find that JUST FINE because this is Black Metal not a Nightwish concert. I struggled to get that reference; Nightwish came to mind because they’re new enough for a 20 year old guy to know who they are, and shitty enough for everyone to know what I’m talking about. I think that is my first real pop culture encompassing reference in the last 25 years.

Awakening The Forgotten Spirit – Quite like this song. There’s an aura of power and strength here until you get to the slow clean guitar part. I suppose a short attention span would claim it breaks up the monotony but I don’t hear monotony! I hear Black Metal the way it should be played by a solo guy’s project. This is my favorite song here because it is relentless and has everything black metal needs in it. The black riff which is the Darkthrone riff, the punk riff which is the Bathory riff which is still the Darkthrone riff, and I believe the Emperor keyboards are even in the back at one point. Maybe it was a vocal singing? I get confused sometimes. I remember fondly the days of keyboards being mixed up really loud in the front of the entire fucking mix so you could tell the guy was holding down the Casio keys as opposed to the reverb hall chapel effect on them. It gets indistinguishable from choral vocal when your ears start getting older and you still listen on speakers because you aren’t some earbud-using fucking turd.

Highly recommended. Only misstep is the cover at the end. If you ask me it should have been another original song. To me it shits all over the powerful sound and atmosphere created by the first 4 songs. Don’t do it again, Grief.

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