Tyr – Valkyrja

Folk metal or Viking metal, whichever you prefer to call it, is a sub-genre that really seems to have taken off over the last decade, with an abundance of successful acts coming through, many of which hail from the Scandinavian plains. Tyr are a Faroese three-piece who have been riding under the above musical moniker for quite some time, as their name, subject matters and often chosen singing tongue all have roots in their Nordic heritage. Tyr however, isn’t your typical Viking metallers, a point personified in their new album, Valkyrja (Metal Blade).

A conceptual album loosely surrounding the tale of a Viking warrior who sets off to battle in order to impress goddess Freyja, Tyr’s seventh studio output doesn’t rest on their previous laurels, with a ballad even making its way onto the album. Recorded with Leave Eyes leading lady Liv Kristine, ‘The Lay of Our Love’ works surprising well on the album, even if it is a shock upon first listen. As for the rest, Valkyrja slips from progressive moments to heavy riffs and power-laden rhythms, with songs such as ‘Mare Of The Night,’ ‘Another Fallen Brother’ and ‘Grindavisan’ bringing some respectively hefty, technically brilliant and grandiose moments to the fold.

The real magic on this album however lays in their bonus tracks, which come in the form of Iron Maiden’s ‘Where Eagles Dare’ and Pantera’s ‘Cemetery Gates.’ Whilst both are fantastic renditions, their version of Dimebag and co’s masterpiece is truly astounding with justice thoroughly being given to a track that most heavy metal bands wouldn’t dare to touch, never mind genuinely make their own. Another triumph for the Faroese metallers, their mission is apparently to break down the heavy metal walls and with Valkyrja, their quest certainly seems to be all the more closer to fulfilling.

Original article can be seen on the Ghost Cult site here