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Swedish black metal band Thyrfing was founded in 1995 by guitarist Patrik Lindgren, bassist Kimmy Sjölund, keyboardist Peter Löf and drummer Jocke Kristensson; drawing profound inspiration from Norse mythology, the group soon recorded its first demo, Solen Svartnar, adding vocalist Thomas Väänänen prior to cutting a second, Hednaland. Signing to the Dutch label Hammerheart, Thyrfing issued their self-titled debut LP in early 1998; upon completion of the follow-up, 1999's Valdr Galga, second guitarist Henke Svegsjö was added to the lineup. A year later Urkraft was released, their first official U.S. release to hit stores at the same time as the Swedish release. In 2002, a U.S. band called Thyrfing released a death metal single, but the undaunted Swedes retaliated with the crushing Vansinnesvisor that fall.