Since 2002, Týr have climbed a mountain, overcoming all challenges with vicious determination, much like the vikings their music tells so many tales of.
Valkyrja is the seventh album by the Faroese quartet, and their début on Metal Blade Records. It’s their first release since 2011′s The Lay of Thrym.
I first got into this band back in 2008 with the release of their fourth album, when the track Sinklars Visa was featured on a cover-mount CD. I gave it a listen and found the sound somewhat refreshing to what was around at the time and since then I’ve explored everything this band have to offer. I couldn’t wait for this release and here it finally is…Valkyrja.
This release is a concept album of sorts, detailing the story of an unnamed viking warrior heading out to war, leaving his woman at home and heading to battle to impress the Valkyrie, in order to guarantee his place in Valhalla. In terms of the modern lesson, this album is based around women and their effects on men and what lengths some men will go to in order to impress the fair lady folk.
Blood Of Heroes is the lead single from this release and also the first track on the album. It’s a seriously classsic heavy metal affair with classic Týr vocals. Soaring vocal lines are delivered in the bands indescribable style. I say this because as much as they’re bundled into the folk/viking metal sub-genres, they’ve never quite fit, which suits me just fine. Hel Hath No Fury is a completely melodic track, featuring twin guitars and true warrior lyrics – what is more heroic than hearing about pulling arrows form the heart! This could be my favourite track, but then again, maybe not. Because when The Lay Of Our Love seeps in, with slow guitar picking and silken vocals from Leaves Eyes’ very own Liv Kristine, I realised that this is an impressively soft and heartfelt track. The two vocal styles sweep together, separate and join once more, while guitar solos lead through the passionate and powerful track. The song feels like somewhat like a last embrace.
The record continues well, track after track, until Into The Sky hammers down; a prayer of sorts to the Valkyrie to let the warrior descend. Fánar Burtur Brandaljóð is the second track on this release sung soley in Faroese. When your language directly stems from the true viking language, it’d be a waste not to use it, and I personally prefer it when they sing in their native tongue. It brings forth a power which takes a brilliant track to a whole new level!
The album actually finishes with not just one, but two covers, the first being a cover of Iron Maiden’s Where Eagles Dare, which the second is a rethought version of Pantera’s legendary classic Cemetery Gates. It’s done so well, and packs so much of a punch, that I think I prefer it over the original. I love it so much!
Týr, remain a confusing band to me in terms of a genre to place them in. However, why should a band be limited to a single pigeon hole, and when you’re as good as Týr, do you really need to be labeled?
When you have guys like James Hetfield amongst your fans, it’s game on!
For Fans Of: Sabaton, Turisas, Nightwish, Kamelot, Amon Amarth, Finntroll.