FAROE ISLANDS PROGRESSIVE FOLK METAL
9/10 – LUKE HAYHURST
The mighty band TYR from the tiny Faroe Islands have returned with their seventh studio album “Valkyrja” hot on the back of 2011’s “The Lay of Thrym”. Also after four albums with Napalm Records the band have switched over to the prestigious and highly sought after Metal Blade roster.
Now with any TYR album you pretty much know what you are getting and despite the fact that the quality increases with each passing record you do know certain things will stay the same. It isn’t like they are one day going to decide to release a concept album about the Incas is it? That being said “Valkyrja” whilst throwing many of things you would come to expect at you, also hits home with one or too nice surprises as well. I’d say the biggest surprise is “The Lay of Our Love” which in many ways is a ballad and any emotionally changed and passionate one at that, yet this is not why it is surprising. A duet is formed by TYR front man Heri Joensen with the beautiful and graceful tones of singer Liv Kristine of Leave’s Eyes fame and the effects are astounding! With two themes running through “Valkyrja”, those being a warrior who leaves his woman behind to do battle and gain his place in Valhalla, as well as there being a general theme of how women affect men and how they behave, this song and it’s superb duet really fit into things superbly.
To be honest the whole album is a winner with songs such as “Another Fallen Brother” which literally cries havoc in order to gain their ascension to the afterlife! Musically you get what you expect from TYR, superb musicianship and technicality, intricate melodies woven throughout the albums fabric and lots of gripping guitar solos and of course that unmistakable vocal sound! Is this the best TYR album to date? Well “The Lay of Thrym” pushes it hard in my opinion but after the dust has cleared and time for thought has passed, this is without a date classic TYR with a few new tricks thrown in and undoubtedly their strongest record yet!