Reviewed by: Sebastian Kluth
Let’s take a look on the career of the progressive folk metal band, and the most popular musical output of the Faroe Islands: Týr.
How Far To Asgaard (2002)
Four years after their foundation, the band concretely comes to life with this doom-influenced debut record. Nightmarish feelings, epic song writing, and haunting melodic vocals are its upsides, while there is still too much repetition and too much length throughout many tracks. Highlights: “Excavation”, “The Rune”, “Sand In The Wind”. Rating: 4.0/5
Eric The Red (2003)
The follow-up to How Far To Asgaard sounds much more diverse, and includes not only more folk influences, but also more heavy and power metal passages. This record mixes short, energizing tracks with epic and twisted tunes on a well-balanced level. Highlights: “Olavur Riddaros”, “Alive”, “Eric The Red”.
The band’s third album heads in a more progressive and cinematic direction. This release includes eighteen tracks, eight of which are instrumental songs. The concept of this release is intellectually challenging and requests multiple listening experiences. It’s recommended to closely follow the lyrics in order to deepr understand this well thought-out album. It includes many complex tracks with dynamic changes, but also more laid back folk-driven acoustic passages. The record is rather hard to approach, and not always easy to digest with its running time of far over an hour, but patient listeners will be rewarded. Highlights: “Brother’s Bane”, “Wings Of Time”, “Lord Of Lies”. Rating: 4.5/5
This record is even more progressive and features many intriguing elements. One can hear a lot of diversified instrumentation: cello, viola, and violin give many songs a cinematic touch. The band goes partially back to its doom metal roots, but also includes some thrashy passages. The lyrics are mostly in Faroese this time, and lend the release an exotic touch. Despite this big creative input, the record includes too many slow and mid tempo tracks, too many instrumental passages, and the songs are generally too long. Highlights: “Gandkvaedi Trondar”, “Sinklars Visa”, “Brennivin”. Rating: 3.25/5
By The Light Of The Northern Star (2009)
The band returns to a more accessible sound, somewhere between folk and power metal, on this release. A few tracks also head for the energizing reaches of thrash. By The Light Of The Northern Star features many heroic anthems and catchy songs that sometimes even remind of Manowar. On the other hand, it gets a little bit repetitive after a while, and fails to truly surprise. Some of the instrumental work goes nowhere, and the record falls flat after a solid start. Highlights: “Hold The Heathen Hammer High”, “Trondur I Gotu”, “By The Sword In My Hand”. Rating: 3.75/5
The Lay Of Thrym (2011)
Týr continues to tap the heavy and power metal vein that the band was searching for on the last record. As a result, most of the songs are rather short and quite catchy. This time, the band includes a few very welcome changes in the form of solid ballads, epic folk anthems, and elaborate progressive tracks. Not every song works perfectly, but the album is a diversified grower that is worth your attention. Highlights: “Shadow Of The Swastika”, “Konning Hans”, “The Lay Of Thrym”.