In case you’re not familiar with the concept of “Freebie of the Week”, here’s a brief explanation… Each week I go on a little hunt through the vast wastelands of the Internet in search of FREE and LEGAL downloads. So, all of the downloads featured here will be obtainable through trustworthy means… and they’ll be guilt-free. For example, I will only ever feature music available from official band websites, profiles (such as MySpace, Reverbnation or Facebook) and Last.fm (or equivalent).
Yes, I have posted a Theudho freebie before, but this band is so awesome that I can see no good reason why you wouldn’t want (and need) more! And, yes, I am aware that I forgot to post a freebie last week. My bad!
The track is called “Upon the Waves of Ægir” and it can be downloaded from here. Theudho posted this little bit of information about the track on their Facebook page:
We often get asked to participate in compilation, tribute and cover albums. Sadly, about half of these albums never get released. Some time ago, we re-recorded a track of our first demo for such an album that will never see the light of day. Instead of letting this recording rot on a hard drive, we’ll rather offer the 2013 version of “Upon the Waves of Ægir” to you, free of charge. Enjoy and feel free to spread this one.
The first THEUDHO demo “Dies Natalis Solis Invicti” (2003) was released as a tribute to the last remaining stretches of European wilderness in northern and western Europe, seeking to immortalizing these diverse daunting primeval landscapes. It seemed only logical that lyrical inspiration was drawn from the myths, legends and lore that sprung from these very same lands. This demo, recorded as a one-man band, and the extremely harsh and grim sounding successor “Under the Alemannic Sun” (2004) did not only catch the attention of fans of the pagan metal genre across the globe; the Belgian underground label NEPHEREX signed THEUDHO after hearing both demo’s.
The debut album “Treachery” (2004) displayed a dramatic improvement as far as the general sound and production went, the actual songs on the album sounded much more mature than the demo material. A number of guests contributed to the album; most notably the Norwegian vocalist Erilaz lent his voice for the Old-Norse parts in the lyrics and the lead guitarist Bastiaan, who performed breathtaking solo’s on a number of tracks. Despite being released on an label with somewhat limited promotional funds, the album received great reviews worldwide. The meticulous care with which the lyrics and the accompanying notes in the CD-booklet were written, earned the band the respect of devotees of paganism in all the corners of the world and set them apart from the numerous bands that merely rehash the same pagan clichés over and over again.
With “Treachery” being the best selling album in the NEPHEREX catalogue, THEUDHO was offered the opportunity to record another album. At this point, THEUDHO was no longer a one-man band, but a duo. Pleased with his work on “Treachery”, lead guitarist Bastiaan joined THEUDHO as a full member shortly after. After hearing some demo’s, NEPHEREX suggested adding a bass player and an actual drummer to the recording line-up to enhance the live feel and the individual and overall performances on the album. And so it happened; with Filip of GORATH on bass and Joachim of WANHOOP on drums, “The Völsunga Saga” (2006) was recorded. Conceptually, the second THEUDHO album left many pagan metal hearts in awe: the band transformed the entire medieval Icelandic Völsunga saga into a metal album, offering extensive notes in the elaborate CD-booklet.
In the meanwhile, THEUDHO stopped being a mere studio project and transformed into a live band. After performing a number of successful concerts both in Belgium and abroad, with bands such as ANCIENT RITES, KORPIKLAANI, ANGANTYR, ODROERIR,… THEUDHO started writing a third full length album, the first one to be released on a foreign label. In 2008, the German label DET GERMANSKE FOLKET released “Cult of Wuotan”, yet another major progression in both composition and performance. The unparalleled synergy of hard hitting metal, epic melodies and Wagnerian bombast spawns eleven tracks that pay tribute to the Wuotanic spirit throughout history; from the tragic endeavours of the Cimbri, the warrior cult of the Harii, the Batavian uproar and the violent death of Arminius’ son to the gloomy rituals and executions performed in desolate moors for the greater glory of Wuotan, Donar and Frô.
When bassist Filip and THEUDHO amicably decide to part ways (guitarist/vocalist Jurgen wrote all the lyrics and liner notes of the GORATH album “Misotheism” and Filip’s ambient metal project HORUS), THEUDHO functions as a three piece for the recording of the CELTIC FROST cover “Dethroned Emperor” and the acoustic folk track “Austrôn” for the Russian “Ritual” compilation, which also features the beautiful voice of guest vocalist Claudia.
After securing a new live line-up, consisting of guitarist/vocalist Jurgen, lead guitarist Bastiaan, bassist Frederik and drummer Joachim, THEUDHO started playing live again; most notably with bands such as WAYLANDER, CRUACHAN, HEIDEVOLK, ELUVEITIE and SKYFORGER. This line-up makes its recording début for the SUMMONING tribute album “… And In the Darkness Bind Them”, tackling the song “Marching Homewards”. They also record the BATHORY cover “A Fine Day To Die”, featuring guest vocals of AHRÁYEPH main man Raf.
When drummer Joachim is sadly forced to quit drumming due to a sustained injury in July 2009, ADHD of the folk black metal band HEIMAT steps in as a session drummer. The band performs with cult black metal band ENTHRONED as well as veterans CADUCITY and teams up with happy troll bashers WAPENSPRAAK & DRINKGELAG for a BATHORY tribute gig.
Later that year, THEUDHO is again invited to perform in the Netherlands as a headliner for Einherjar Fest with MYRKVAR, GRIMHORDE, ENCORION and VANIR.
At the end of 2009, THEUDHO decide to record a free digital EP with the then current live line-up. “The Silence EP” features re-recordings of four tracks of the previous three albums. The EP is characterised by a sound that goes back to the vibe of the “Treachery” album, drastically scrapping the keyboard arrangements that came to dominate the sound of the previous two albums. Being a free EP, it spreads faster than the Mexican flu …
Currently, the band is focussing on the writing process for a yet untitled fourth studio album.
OÐIN Á YÐR ALLA!
Jurgen: Guitars & vocals
Dieter: Lead guitars
Nick: Bass guitar
Joachim: Drums & percussion
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The following message was left on Theudho’s official Facebook page:
Early 2013, we’ll release a brand new track in a very old school way, namely as a 7″ split-EP with our brethren in WAELCYRGE. Aurora Australis Records will take care of the release. More information shortly!
The artwork for “Níðing” can be seen below:
Check out more Theudho goodies by clicking here.
I’m cheating with this a bit as it’s doubling up as our Freebie of the Week for this week
Theudho have unleashed their new video upon the masses! The video features a track from their most recent album, “When Ice Crowns the Earth”, and is called “Niðr ok Norðr”. The video can be viewed below:
“Niðr ok Norðr” tells about the journey to the Germanic underworld, the realm of Hel. Because of the lyrical nature, we wanted to stray from the usual rock and metal video clichés and went for a very bleak and dark atmosphere.
You can download the free three track single by clicking here
Check out more Theudho goodies by clicking here.
Blackened Pagan Metal band Theudho are celebrating Ostara by sharing a FREE download with their fans. The following message was left on the band’s official Facebook page:
Together with our Swedish partners in crime, Wotan Klan, we would like to extend our best Ostara wishes to all.
Check out the article on Ostara on the Wotan Klan website (www.wotanklan.net).
For the occasion, we are offering you a free download of the old yet rare acoustic Theudho track “Austron”, featuring guest vocalist Claudia
Check out more Theudho goodies by clicking here.
“When Ice Crowns the Earth” follows hot on the heels of Theudho’s free to download EP, “War into the World”… which is wonderful since it means that I didn’t have to wait too long for my Theudho fix.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this: “When Ice Crowns the Earth” is Theudho’s most impressive album to date. Pagan Black Metal does not come better than this. Fact. While “Treachery”, “The Volsunga Saga” and “Cult of Wotan” all have a lot of amazing moments, it just feels like everything has fallen into place here. All of the elements are working together in a heathen harmony. There’s an air of ‘completeness’. I can’t put my finger on it, but everything just feels right.
As with their previous works, Theudho’s love of Bathory certainly shines through here. However, it’s not a major focus and you soon come to the realisation that Theudho are very much their own entity. Would Theudho be creating music in the way that they do if Bathory never existed? I guess that’s a question that we’ll never be able to answer. Maybe the idea would have naturally popped into Jurgen’s head one day…
The album opens with “War into the World” – the track that also opened the EP of the same name. Back when I reviewed the EP, I mentioned that “War into the World” was fast becoming my favourite Theudho song of all time. This is still the case, but on this album it’s accompanied with such brilliance, that it’s hard to pick a favourite. Anyway, this track really grabs the listener right from the start with its galloping riffs, infectious melodies and a feeling of greatness that’s hard to find these days. Usually when albums are started with a track this good, the rest of the album pales in comparison… Well, I’m pleased to say that this is not the case here.
The title track is wonderful. Really, it is. The lead guitar tone is just beautiful… Seriously, the louder you play it, the better it gets: so turn that dial UP! The combination of spoken word sections and Black Metal vocals work fantastically well and give the track several layers for the listener to enjoy. The tempo is changed at several points throughout the song (accompanied by the differing vocals), making the track an entirely exhilarating listening experience.
“The Second Coming” brings us a more intense and frantic atmosphere. Again, there’s a number of tempo changes; Theudho certainly know how to keep you on your toes. There’s also something about this track that makes me want to find an ancient forest (preferably one untouched by human beings) and get back to nature, as it were. All in all, an incredibly powerful track.
Next up is “Niðr ok Norðr” and, despite my complete failure at pronouncing it, I’ve developed quite an addiction to it. It’s both calming and empowering at the same time. It may sound odd, but the first time I heard it I had a terrific goosebumps-on-the-back-of-the-neck moment when the vocals kicked in. I wouldn’t say that the track was necessarily groundbreaking, but it manages to stir up something very primal within me. Now, if someone would like to help me pronounce its title, that would be rather spiffing.
“Heracleidae (Seevölkersturm) ” really shows off just how talented these guys are and each instrument (and I’m including the vocals in this) manages to shine through. Once again, galloping riffs are the order of the day… and, once again, I wish I could play guitar better (yeah, I know, I should practise more).
“Sacrifice the King” means business. It really sounds like Jurgen is pushing his vocals; particularly at the beginning of the track. You can really feel the passion and force behind them. The spoken vocals also make an appearence and provide a great use of juxtaposition. Oh, and the guitar solo makes me weep tears of joy.
“Lokabrenna” is a track of epic proportions. OK, at just over 7 minutes its not especially long, but musically this instrumental piece is absolutely MASSIVE. There’s a lot going on – this is definitely a track that worth listening to through a good quality pair of headphones.
The whole thing is finished off with “The Straw Death” – a track that picks up the pace, runs rings around the listener and then leaves them stunned.
Too often I find that Pagan Metal comes with a set of gimmicks. Admittedly sometimes gimmicks work and are able to bring new depth to the music, but sometimes I find them tiresome and overdone. Theudho do not rely on gimmicks. You will find no happy trolls dancing around to this (as much as I do enjoy a dancing troll); instead, the music is left to stand on its own. And it does. Magnificently.
“When Ice Crowns the Earth” is one of the first releases of 2012 and it’s certainly getting the year off to a good start. The rest of 2012′s albums better be bringing their A game!
Yep, I’m a fan. What can I say? My only problem with this album is that, now it has been released, I’m going to have to wait a fair while until my next Theudho fix.
Rating: 100% – there, I said it. If I could give it more, I would. Please can someone bring Theudho to the UK for some shows? I’ll give you sweeties… go on…