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Tyr - Land (CD)

by Grigoris Chronis at 06 May 2008, 4:47 AM

Faroe Islands (stands for sheep islands) lays between Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, being an equal neighbor to Iceland, Scotland and Norway. With a population of less than 50,000 heads, it's not weird limited bands can make it to well-known European Metal labels. TYR is the only living example, as far as I'm concerned at least. And, having in mind they have already released three full-length albums (and a CD single), this makes the soon-to-come Land CD a rather brave 'carry on' action by these Viking Metal warriors.
Within ten years of existence, TYR did achieve to gain some good reputation in the European Folk-or-Pagan-or-Viking-or-Epic Metal scene. I can recall 2002's Eric The Red creating a chat allover the printed and 'online' Media, due to its unique approach. Miles away from what you'd suppose you'll hear from a Viking Metal band, they do not stand even adequately towards Black Metal paths or - even - the BATHORY (2nd era) pave way. No, their blend flirts astonishingly chic with a mix of IRON MAIDEN and DREAM THEATER with a little of BLIND GUARDIAN with the 'exotic' influences of their native land/area. Hence, the re-make of several folk songs in Eric The Red escalated the band to a higher level; hence (again), the Napalm Records interest, I guess.
The cover artwork will create the perfect mood for the musical journey to be unveiled. There's tons of epic parts in the songlist, the ones warriors sing to prior to fall in the battlefield. There's much of the 'folk' stuff in there, too, as most - if not all - the songs are arrangements from ethnic/local traditional melodies again. You know, the choruses sung by the whole village in the woods while drinking local nectars on a warm day or moonlit night. But, most of all, the 'dressing' is some really stylish Metal of variety in grooves, a production that's both Metal and Rock/Folk and - ahead of all - a 100% 'Metal' performance by the musicians. The guitars are full of ideas, endless harmonies and the leads give and take. The drums/bass appearance is not as 'fat' as initially expected, but that is - listening to the album again and again - more of a matter of production or mix, I guess.
Heri's voice is a natural extension of what he did in 2006's Ragnarok. He sings like a powerful warrior when he wants so, while at certain key-bridges he lets the emotions flow unchained. Picturing out a leader you can trust, he stands on top of the songs in the semi-narrative 'branches' and - mixed with the choir vocals - he delivers in high level. Even if the music turns out to be rather complex - in terms of rhythms, the least - he does not fall short of flexibility.
Hmmm, a smaller duration would be ideal in my ears, yet such dozens of minutes defines the 'prog' extension, too, right? Since I'm not the most die-hard Viking Metal devotee, I guess fans of the sub-genre will deny praising Land; it's epic, it's technical, it's Northern. Just, attention: give it more than half a dozen of spins to come up with your first summary, OK? The CD will be available as a jewel case edition and as a limited edition 8-page deluxe digipack, including a live 50-minute bonus DVD of the band's 2007 Wacken Open Air performance.
P.S.: Hail To The Hammer is a re-recorded verision of the track initially featured in 2002's How Far To Asgaard album.

3 Star Rating

Gandkvædi Tróndar
Sinklars Vísa
Gátu Ríma
Fípan Fagra
Lokka Táttur
Hail To The Hammer
Heri Joensen - Vocals, Guitars
Terji Skiben?s - Guitars
Gunnar H. Thomsen - Bass
Kari Streymoy - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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