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Tyr - "The Lay of Thrym" (CD)

Tyr - "The Lay of Thrym" CD cover image

"The Lay of Thrym" track listing:

1. Flames of the Free (4:17)
2. Shadow of the Swastika (4:23)
3. Take Your Tyrant (3:55)
4. Evening Star (5:04)
5. Hall of Freedom (4:06)
6. Fields of the Fallen (4:59)
7. Konning Hans (4:27)
8. Ellindur Bóndi á Jaðri (3:55)
9. Nine Worlds of Lore (4:04)
10. The Lay of Thrym (6:48)

Limited Edition Bonus Tracks:
11. I (Black Sabbath Cover) (4:42)
12. Stargazer (Rainbow Cover) (6:19)

Reviewed by on August 23, 2011

"Tyr is comparable to no other band. It is not because the band plays so much better than others, but rather Tyr has a quirky style that makes the music so memorable."

"The Lay of Thrym" from Faroese act Tyr is another fantastic offering of Viking/folk power metal sure to please its ever growing fan base. The blending of folk elements into metal has come a long way since Skyclad hired a full time fiddle player. The original genre is blurred greatly since the introduction of many other styles and is now over-saturated with black metal influences. Unless a band does something different to set itself apart from the pack, it is easily lost in the void of the mundane. Know this... Tyr is comparable to no other band. It is not because the band plays so much better than others, but rather Tyr has a quirky style that makes the music so memorable.

Quirky doesn't mean bad, but if you imagine the formula for traditional power metal moving in a straight line, Tyr tends to move at a twenty degree angle, sounding slightly imbalanced. It is exactly this uniqueness or oddity that makes the listener instantly know Tyr. For the most part, just when you expect the song to go in one direction the band diverts slightly, keeping listeners with short attention spans interested. While the rhythm section plays that straight line power style, guitarist Terji Skibenaes nearly always plays an octave above it, in essence playing a solo that steers the song rather than merely accenting it with one. This has been a trademark of the band, a quality best represented on this release with the songs "Take Your Tyrant," "Ellindur Bóndi á Jaðri," and the title track.

Another trademark feature of Tyr is the yo-yo effect of some of the song choruses like the one on "Halls of Freedom." Heri Joensen's traditional layered vocals proceed forward and jerk back on the last word of each line. So simple, and so brillant. This is not the way Tyr sounds on every single song, however. "Fields of the Fallen," for example, is a straight up power metal crusher and one of the strongest tracks Tyr has written.

"The Lay of Thrym" represents all of the best qualities of Tyr that fans have come to expect. It is another great album of memorable Viking anthems with the band's unique dash of spices. As an added bonus, those lucky enough to pick up the digipak version of the release will be treated to Tyr's renditions of Black Sabbath's "I" and Rainbow's "Stargazer."

Highs: The unique style of Tyr shines again, this time with even more maturity.

Lows: The imbalance of Tyr's quirkiness may catch some off guard.

Bottom line: It's another fantastic Viking/folk power metal release that you'd expect from Tyr.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)