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Tyr - How Far To Asgaard (CD)

How Far To Asgaard
by Amy La Salla at 25 January 2005, 3:34 AM

Every so often, a band will pop up that stands above the hoards of Progressive Metal groups and make an original mark in the genre.  Tyr are named after a figure in Norse mythology who lost his hand so that a bloodthirsty monster could be chained.  I would say that any band whose sound is this original is very brave!
Tyr are influenced by classical music but it doesn't have the usual tone to it. In fact, they make me think a little of evil Christmas songs. Their music does not make you feel like you are flying, instead. I would say that it feels as if you were running around, climbing stairs and ladders, while something menacing nips at your heels. Their music is very intricate, but catchy enough that it will appeal to more than just hardcore musicians.   
The singer has a fairly deep voice but frequently demonstrates he has a pretty good range, going high when he wants to and low when he needs to. The guitar-work is excellent, with solos and plenty of insane riffery.  Unlike most prog bands, Tyr does not stick to two speeds (insanely fast and ballad) and enjoy a middle ground that suits the dynamics of the album well.  I like this departure from the progressive norm, it makes the music more exciting.
My favorite songs from How Far To Asgaard are:
Hail To The Hammer, which is a song welcoming winter and about what they intend to do during. It is a mid-tempo tune with good dynamics. Hail To The Hammer is a compelling song. It pulls at you and creeps into your senses until you find yourself singing along! It's solos are well placed and do not contain a single extra note. They sound pure and sweet!
The Rune, is an unconventional ballad. The singer's clear voice resounds with misery and the guitar-work is superb. It is about a king, whose ancestors were chased out of Norway. Since then, his kin have built a new kingdom, rich and happy. All is not well, however, for the descendants of the men who drove the main character's forefathers out of their home now want his lands as well.
Ormurin Langi is a Metal adaptation of an old Scandinavian song about King Olavur Tryggvason. It is named after his longship and has a slightly mournful sound to it and well it might, for by the end of the song, the king is dead. Ormurin Langi is beautiful and catchy, with excellent lead-work! It is also the song that introduced me to the band.
How Far To Asgaard is extremely dynamic and progressive. It is dark, angry and has a particularly cool chorus. On the first listen, it seems to merely be a song about Leif Ericsson and crew's search for Vinland. After a reading through or two of the lyrics, however, I realized that it is also about discovery and the quest for greatness we all are on.
Bands like this are rare. I will watch Tyr's career with interest!

4 Star Rating

Hail To The Hammer
The Rune
Ten Wild Dogs
God Of War
Sand In The Wind
Ormurin Langi
How Far To Asgaard
Heri Joensen - Guitars
Kari Streymoy - Drums
Pol Arni Holm - Vocal
Gunnar H. Thomsen - Bass
Record Label: Tutl


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