Thyrgrim were formed in Germany in 2004, under the moniker of Kaltetot and they delivered 2 demos to the world, they then went on to change their name in 2005, to Thyrgrim, and released the infamous demo ‘Kaltetot’. They have since spawned 5 full length albums, the latest, ‘Vermachtnis’, being their 6th, and is delivered to us via Trollzorn records.

Kain is the only surviving member from the initial concept, and initially took up dual duties of vocals and guitars but he was later relieved of the string duties in 2014 by Irrsinn, who was later joined by Morbus in 2016, to create a dual assault of guitar duties. Berath completes the line-up, when he took up duties on the bass in 2014.

‘Vermachtnis’ is one of the cleanest back lines I have heard from a black metal release in a while, although, when the dirty raw vocals surrender themselves to you, it quickly pulls it back to the bowels of hell with a thump. The vocals and melody, almost don’t sit right next to each other, and while each element can’t be faulted on their own merit, they just don’t seem to sing in unison.

‘Die Heilung dieser Welt’ opens the proceedings and gives into a melody which sings to the listener with a crispness which enables you to hear every note, and then Kain delivers a guttural growl, which pulls the ambience back to the more traditional black metal esque ritual.

The album then continues in the same vain with ‘Frühlingsdämmerung and Die ewige Suche’, and switches the speed from tantalising blasts to more melodic slow, tormented melodies.

The release lacks the aggression which has previously been shown, and as much as it contrives itself as raw and demonic, it lacks any real variation in the riffs and ideas, with some of the tracks bordering on monotonous and dragging.

While the album keeps it interesting with song titles, which are all worded in German, this does little to inject any real context to the album, and it all just seems to mould into each other without any real deviation, which ultimately makes it hard work for the listener.

Album closer, ‘Offenbarung’, delivers the same tried and tested recipe, which the band have used throughout the whole album, and does little to stamp any real lasting memory, or any inclination to press play once again when the final chords have finished ringing out.

While it saddens me to say this is one of the poorer black metal releases I have heard all year, I do seem to think that a real hard-core fan of the band, or any metal fan with a real genuine eclectic taste for the black arts, will lap this up and possibly love it, I just don’t see it getting pushed to the foreground of most head bangers vinyl collection anytime soon.

(6/10 Phil Pountney)