The title says it all! Opinions expressed here are those of the authors. Personal tastes may vary, and we are cool with that.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

CD Review: Týr's Lay of Thrym

Týr is:

Heri Joensen – vocals, guitar
Terji Skibenæs – guitar
Gunnar H. Thomsen – bass
Kári Streymoy – drums

Like Ensiferum, Týr is one of my favorite folk metal bands. Awaiting this new release has me on the edge of my seat because I have always been such a big fan of this band’s music since I first started listening to them! What separates them from other metal groups is their uniqueness in both style and flare. They do not even have a keyboarder and they still sound great without one too and of course in their genre, it is unique to not have a keyboardist. Also Heri Joensen’s vocals are great as well, so unique that no one can even come close to his abilities!

So the question remains; will this be another great release by Týr? As of late, Týr has been making their songs faster and more upbeat than what they did in their earlier releases. Of course as I always mention, every band evolves and never wants to stay the same so that bands can stay fresh sounding. Well let’s dive into this album with my traditional song by song review of The Lay of Thrym.

Here is my rating system revised for both songs and albums:
6/5 = Classic/Perfect
5/5 = Outstanding/ Near perfect
4.5/5 = Amazing/Excellent
4/5 = Great/ Worthy material
3.5/5 = Above average/ Good work
3/5 = Average/ Kind of bland
2.5/5 = Sub par/ Bland
2/5 = Poor/ Rushed
1.5/5 = Awful/ Garbage
1.0/5= Pathetic/ Worthless
0/5 = Abomination/AutoTuned crap

1. “Flames of the Free”: No question that this is a fun and catchy metal song. Fast paced and furious, this song is a great opener and is sure to impress many! This is very power metal sounding, only with that flare that Týr provides. Laying down some impressive vocals from Heri Joensen as well as catchy riffs, this is a great way to open the album! (4/5)

2. “Shadow of the Swastika”: Without a doubt, my favorite song on the album. This song, judging by what I heard and by the lyrics, is a retaliation to certain groups of people in which Heri says “kiss my Scandinavian ass”. That is amazing and this is indeed the most angry song this band has ever composed! The first verse is about the German organizations accusing Týr (and bands like them) that they are a band who promotes Nazism and racism through ancient symbols of Scandinavian mythology. The second verse is a total bashing of Nazism and racism in general! So wow, I had no idea that Týr was capable of writing something so angry! This is a great song and one of my favorites by this band! (5/5)

3. “Take Your Tyrant”: Another upbeat song with a very typical Týr riff to begin the song with some very bombastic vocals from Joensen yelling TAKE YOUR TYRANT! Indeed a fun song to get into done very well. (4/5)

4. “Evening Star”: A slower, more ballad feel than the first three songs. I really like the lyrics in this song as it adds so much emotion in this song. I really like the faster more upbeat part of the chorus as it is very catchy indeed. A very nice solo here too. Another worthy song! (4.5/5)

5. “Hall Of Freedom”: Right away we are back into another furious song again! Damn this song is catchy! Very cool hooks and lyrics once again, and is another song worth listening to. Though not the strongest song on the album, still a great song to get your fist pumping to! (4/5)

6. “Fields Of The Fallen”: Judging by the beginning of this track, I would of never guessed this was a Týr song. It starts out with some traditional power chord riffing and then it erupts into a furious intro solo. There are basically no folk elements in this song which is disappointing, but this song proves that they can expand their style. The main chorus is a little repetitive I will admit but damn the guitar solos really rock on this song. (3.5/5)

7. “Konning Hans”: Ah yes, we get a song sung in Danish! Very cool! Unlike the previous songs, this one is done more in their traditional style; slower with more progressive elements. Great vocal melodies with plenty of folk elements throughout make this a great track indeed! (4.5/5)

8. “Ellindur Bondi A Jadri”: Now that we got a song in Danish, this one is in Faroese! Very nice! That is what I like about Týr. They choose to do different things and aren’t afraid to take chances! Another fast paced song with power metal elements. The solo in this song is mind-blowing as well! Very good track again with great melodies! (4/5)

9. “Nine Worlds of Lore”: The intro reminds me of the “Flames of the Free” intro. While not one of the stronger tracks on the album, it still has that cool Týr sound we all come to like. A catchy song, but not one of the better songs. (3.5/5)

10. “The Lay of Thrym”: The title track as well as the most complex and longest song on the album! A very good intro followed by an ass-kicking lead into some serious folk metal fury! Once again the power metal elements are present and Joensen once again lays down some impressive vocal tracks. The guitar riffs and harmonies are very well put together as well! Definitely worth a listen! (4.5/5)

The next two tracks are bonus tracks, but they are also covers of two Dio sung songs (perhaps in memory of his life.. RIP Dio). So I am just going to compare both versions and give the one I liked better!

11. “I” (Black Sabbath cover): This is honestly a very good cover of this song as I know that Týr could do no doubt! Dio is a tough act to follow of course, but Joensen is a great vocalist too and he puts his heavy metal fury into this. Not as good as the original, but worth a listen for sure!

12. “Stargazers” (Rainbow cover): This is a hard song to sing and perform no doubt. When I first saw this, being that this is my favorite Rainbow song, I was skeptical if Týr could actually pull this off, but they sure as hell did. Granted, the vocals by Joensen are not as good as Dio because he is a tough act to follow as I mentioned earlier. Also, Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar work and style is hard to emulate and Cozy Powell’s drumming in the beginning of the song is tough to get down too. But damn this is as good of a cover as it could be with what Týr did to it. Standing ovation for Týr, not only for covering these two Dio songs, but for paying tribute to one of the greatest vocalists of all time! I am sure Dio would be proud to hear these versions!

So that is my song by song review of The Lay of Thrym. Here are my overall thoughts:

-Very catchy and upbeat songs throughout! Not a single dull moment!
-Great guitar melodies/solos and awesome singing by Joensen once again!
-Very cool lyrics and themes.
-Great Dio covers!

-The songs aren’t as complex as a normal Týr album, with shorter songs and more power metal elements.
-Less folksy sounding than their previous releases.
-A few filler songs.

If you are a big fan of the style from Eric The Red, then you would be a little disappointed with this release because it is much faster and more power metal oriented than what they usually do. In my opinion, I think that this is a worthy Týr album, and unlike their older material, I think this album is certainly easier to digest for sure. I think they definitely are masters of their style and they know how to keep material fresh to listen to. I am going to give this album a horns up no doubt! \m/ Everything this band has done is nothing short of amazing. These guys continue to rock, and I know they aren’t done making quality albums. I actually recommend their whole discography including this one because these guys are certainly on top of the folk metal genre! Very impressive and I hope to hear more from these guys in the future with more great albums!
Overall rating: 4/5

1 comment:

The Protagonist said...

Good review! I still enjoy this album despite it being a real departure from their older style. I'm working on my review as we speak. :P