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Tyr - By The Light Of The Northern Star (CD)

Tyr
By The Light Of The Northern Star
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 17 June 2009, 10:55 AM

TYR have managed to add Faroe Islands in the great Heavy Metal map and have established their name as one of the leaders in the so-called Viking Metal scene. Without any doubt, the last two albums have given the band the publicity boost they actually deserve since they have added the term progressive beside the classic Pagan Metal sound. In this, Joensen has helped with his easy-to-distinguish vocal timbre that characterizes TYR's sound signature. So, By The Light Of The Northern Star is here to continue where Land has stopped one year ago.
I will start from the end and comment that the entire album that totally fulfills its goal; and that is the sing-along Viking Metal we are used getting from TYR and other similar bands. No, I am not implying that this is a predictable album; on the contrary, TYR have embed some progressive elements to the strong Pagan Metal backbone. The guitars are responsible for this by making distinct appearances in songs like Trondur I Gotu or Into The Storm that follow the killer recipe of sing-along choruses and catchy melody lines. Take for example Northern Gate that features the classic hymn-like structure with a main melody that will set an anchor in your mind from the very first minutes. But this is not all; when the lead guitars enter the song explodes into a straightforward Heavy Metal track taking the band outside the Pagan Metal box. Joensen's voice still dominates the sound balancing melody with the adequate amount of harshness that the Viking songs deserve.
While I was listening to the album I got the feeling that this time TYR have added some more melody to their compositions and have given more space to the lead guitars that really shine during the solos. Of course, the epic element is also here with uplifting tunes and lyrics that speak of Vikings, heroic battles and 'raging' seas just like the galloping Ride does bringing along an ENDIFERUM war-feeling. Clearly the highlight of the album is the homonymous song with the more than catchy (I do not know if there is a more striking word for this) vocal melody that is perfectly supported by the guitar harmonies that keep the spirits and the moral high.
So, TYR continue in the path they carved with Ragnarok and Land but avoid reproducing themselves by adding hearty guitar work that gets in a higher level by Jacob Hansen who mixed the songs and added finishing touches at the famous Finnvox studio. If you know TYR then you should buy this ones with your eyes closed. If you have not met the band but you do like all these Viking stories then this album is a good point to start. Let's grab our swords and let the light of the Northern star guide us.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Hold the Heathen Hammer High
Trondur I Gotu
Into The Storm
Northern Gate
Turid Torkilsdottir
By The Sword In My Hand
Ride
Hear The Heathen Call
By The Light Of The Northern Star
Lineup:
Heri Joensen - Vocals, Guitars
Terji Skibenes - Guitars
Gunnar H. Thomsen - Bass
Kari Streymoy - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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