TÝR – The Lay of Thrym

Band:TÝR
Title:TÝR – The Lay of Thrym
Genre:Folk/Pagan Metal
Year:2011
Label:Napalm Records
Tags: , , ,
Saturday, July 9, 2011 : 0 Comments

The Faroese Folk/Pagan Metal band TÝR released its previous album, “By The Light Of The Northern Star” (see the review here), in 2009. As with each release the band has toured a lot and even played on the cruise ship for the 70,000 Tons Of Metal festival/cruise. Vocalist/guitarist Heri Joensen also released an album with his other band/project HELJAREYGA in 2010. Anno 2011 TÝR’s 6th album sees the light of day and this on the 27th May. And like before the number of tracks with English lyrics is greater:

How Far To Asgaard = 1
Eric The Red = 4
Ragnarok = 4
Land = 8
By The Light Of The Northern Star = 2
The Lay of Thrym = 2

For this release, the band worked again with producer Jacob Hanse from start to finish, from recording to mastering. The lyrical context (or at least the title) revolves around the story of King Thrym, who dared steal Thor’s hammer Mjollnir. More about Thrym on Wikipedia (here), the University of Pittsburgh (here), GermanicMythology.com (here) and so on. The album itself continues in the same style as “By The Light Of The Northern Star”. In other words, more direct songs, shorter songs and more catchy compositions.
 It starts with the pounding drums and direct attack in “Flames Of The Free”, where you’ll also find catchy melodies and a sing-along chorus. The rhythm is of the humpa kind, as is the case in “Shadow Of The Swastika” and “Take Your Tyrant”. Furthermore, Heri’s singing is again top notch, epic and hymnic while the music contains again the right amount of power. This song lifts you up, puts a smile on your face somehow. Also, I found it having a lot of hit potential. It’s definitely one of the best tracks on this new album. Melody is also of importance in “Shadow Of The Swastika”. This song as well appears to have a positive vibe and contains energizing music. The chorus is sung with multiple vocal layers, while the music is based on melody. The contrast between Heri’s melodic voice and the rocking riffs and drums in the verses works very well. Even if this is a simple song, I have to give kudos to Kári Streymoy for his drumming.

“Take Your Tyrant” is another song which takes off in a direct way. Melody again comes out mostly in the (radio-friendly) chorus and the music is different in the verses, more normal, so to speak. Not the humpa kind of stuff. The toms play a vital role here. Simplicity was also a rule here, it seems, although there is enough room for solos and powerful drumming. But it is a fact that TÝR continue to deliver. “Evening Star” is another very good song, in my opinion. It begins calm and clean, followed by hymnic verses (also clean and calm). More power and drive come out in the chorus. This is a typical TÝR song, but a very beautiful one. In “Hall Of Freedom” marching drums accompany the melodic guitars, after which all forces are combined to create a piece of pounding melodic Metal. And how welcome it is and how awesome it sounds! Straight-forward verses come in with powerful singing, flowing neatly over into a fast and catchy double-bass chorus. The created contrast is again well done.

“Fields Of The Fallen” is another straight-forward rocker (well, Metal song) where heavy riffing is key. This probably is one of the heaviest TÝR tracks to date. The music comes pounding out of the speakers and the lads made sure the solo was long enough, or longer than usual, this time. Another highlight, all in all. Then comes the first of the two non-English songs: “Konning Hans”. This is a hymnic power ballad, which sounds, all things considered, relatively heavy, but I found it somehow less – or better – not as attractive as the other songs. Maybe over time I’ll appreciate it more. “Ellindur Bóndi á Jaðri” is the other non-English song. The terms melodic, hymnic, Folky, and so on can easily be applied here. A typical midtempo TÝR song, in other words. Good, but nothing special. The bursting intro of “Nine Worlds Of Lore” is then a welcome element. Pounding Metal is the main aspect here, although melody remains a base ingredient. The chorus is the center of attention. Solid work here as well. But as the material was getting a little less interesting or attractive after “Fields Of The Fallen”, it’s good to see and hear the album ends with another strong song, “The Lay Of Thrym” or the title track. Its intro (and outro) reminded me of another of TÝR’s songs, “Regin Smiður” (can be found on the “Eric The Red” album), but it’s not an exact copy-paste, of course. Wild and furious Folk Metal follows a little while later. And again the chorus was made very tasty!

“The Lay Of Thrym” follows the same direction as “By The Light Of The Northern Star”, the band’s previous album. Where the first few albums were a bit more Progressive, anno 2009 TÝR opted for a more straight-forward and catchier approach without neglecting their own sound and characteristics. It showed that even then the Faroese band can be successful and write great songs. Plus, it makes it easier to play the material live, or better, make the crowd digest them easier at gigs. So far this approach works very well, but (for me) there were a bit too many elements on “The Lay Of Thrym” that hinted at mass appeal. However, the Faroese deliver the goods once again with their typical Folk Metal. And that’s all that matters.

Tracklist:

  1. Flames Of The Free
  2. Shadow Of The Swastika
  3. Take Your Tyrant
  4. Evening Star
  5. Hall Of Freedom
  6. Fields Of The Fallen
  7. Konning Hans
  8. Ellindur Bóndi á Jaðri
  9. Nine Worlds Of Lore
  10. The Lay Of Thrym

Line-up:
Heri Joensen – vocals, guitars
Terji Skibenæs – guitars
Gunnar H. Thomsen – bass
Kári Streymoy – drums

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

More info at www.myspace.com/tyr1
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